Week 4 - Term 1 Newsletter 2022
Dear Families and Friends,
What a busy start to the year it has been. Thank you to Fr Nicolas for leading us in our Beginning of Year Mass on Tuesday, it was a beautiful Mass in which we were able to welcome our new Kindergarten students into the school community and officially acknowledge our School Captains, Year 6 Leaders and SRC Leaders for the 2022 School Year.
2022 SRC Leaders
Congratulations to the following students who were selected by their peers to represent them on our 2020 Student Representative Council:
Year 2 - Sam Kirkland & Sophie Green
Year 3 - Hugo Simpson & Marlie Cook
Year 4 - Hailen Capp & Meesha Ellis
Year 5 - Billy Opalniuk & Kavanna Corcoran
I look forward to working alongside these students and the Year 6 SRC Captains to ensure that 'Student Voice' is a priority in our school. Their assistance in driving students events, student service and student connection to our local community will be invaluable.
Parent Information Night
Thank you to all parents who were able to attend our 'Meet the Teacher' Sessions this week. This was an opportune time for you to meet with your child's class teachers and gain a clearer understanding of how their learning spaces will operate this year, the routines and also the expectations around their learning.
If you were unable to attend, all materials handed out on the night will be sent home via email/hard copy this week. Please don't hesitate to make individual contact with your classroom teacher if you wish to seek further clarity around your child's learning this year.
Student Absences & Extended Leave
A reminder that student absences are to be notified by a phone call to the school, email email@example.com, or by making an 'Attendance Note' on your Compass App.
If you choose to respond to the SMS sent to you after 10 am, please make that when responding to the text that you click on the link which should take you to compass for an 'Attendance Note' and not reply directly to the text (as we will not receive this!).
When explaining an absence, please give details like sick, family holiday, medical appointment, etc. As previously requested, parents are now asked to provide a more detailed explanation /reason for their child's absence other than 'Sick' or 'Unwell'.
Some examples of a clearer explanation could be:
- Sick with flu-like symptoms and being COVID tested** OR
- Sick with stomach pains OR
- Unwell with earache, OR
- Injured with sprained ankle etc. OR
- Feeling tired, didn't sleep well
**Being absent due to Covid testing also changes the way the absence is marked on the Roll.
If you are intending for your child to be absent from school for more than three days, it is important that a 'Notification of Extended Leave Travel' Form is filled in and provided to the Front Office prior to the leave occurring. Whilst family holidays and travel are no longer considered under the 'Exemption from School' Procedures, it is a legal requirement that the school is appropriately notified of this Leave and recorded on the roll. Please note that unless there are extenuating circumstances around the 'Extended Leave', that school work will not be provided by the classroom teachers during this period. Please find attached Form A4 (Extended leave Travel) for future use.
Covid-19 Updates & Restrictions
From next Monday 28th February, I am please to announce that we are able to again have visitors on school site, please see below a summary regarding the easing of restrictions:
Masks - all staff and volunteers will be still required to wear mask indoors until Monday 7th March
Parent Pick Up - we will be resuming normal pick up procedures and ask that all Parents gather in the amphitheatre (outside of Year 6 classroom) to collect your children. Students will no longer be called to the Front Steps or back gates for collection. Visitors are permitted in schools regardless of their vaccination status. We do ask that if you or a family member are experiencing symptoms you do not visit the school at that time.
Parent/Teacher Meeting - If you require a meeting with your classroom teacher we ask that you still either email in advance for a suitable time or make a booking through the Front Office.
Volunteers - We will be welcoming back all volunteers into school, however please note that volunteers are still required by the current Public Health Order to meet vaccination requirements
QR Codes - Service NSW no longer requires visitors to sign into schools using the Service NSW App. Visitors are still required to sign into the school using the "Who’s On Location" system in the school office.
Little Joey's Transition Program
A reminder that we will again Little Joey’s will be held in our library and will begin in Term 3 - Friday 5th August, continuing each Friday for the remainder of the 2022 school year. Sessions in Term 3 are open to any child in the community who will be of school age in 2023. Children are welcome to attend each Friday from 9:30 am until 2:30 pm.
Despite the program no longer running for the entire school year, we are still seeking expressions of interest from parents in enrolling their child in this program before the 2022 School Year beginning. Little Joey's Enrolment forms have been distributed to current families, our apologies if you have been missed - please contact the school directly.
Please note that whilst not starting until Semester 2, we have already had several inquiries and would like to ensure our current school community can secure a placement - there are limited spots remaining.
Additionally, I am also asking families to help promote the program. If you know a family within the community with a child that is school-age in 2022, please encourage them to seek an enrollment form from the school or make a time to have a school tour with me. This program is crucial to supporting our future Kindy enrollments, and we would appreciate as much support as possible from our families despite its later start in the school year.
I trust you will have a safe & relaxing weekend. As always, please don't hesitate in contacting me if you wish to discuss any of the above matters or anything further.
Leaders of Learning
Learning in the Early Years - Maths
This week in Maths, Kindergarten and Stage 1 have been focussing on counting in a Maths strand called Whole Numbers. The Big Idea for this strand is that Numbers are organised in a Base 10 system, and their position gives their value.
Counting is an important component of number and the early learning of operations. There is a distinction between counting by rote and counting with understanding. Regularly counting forwards and backwards from a given number will familiarise students with the sequence.
Counting with understanding involves counting with one-to-one correspondence, recognising that the last number represents the total number in the collection, and developing a sense of numbers’ size, order, and relationships. Representing numbers in a variety of ways is essential for developing number sense.
Kindy are learning all about numbers to 20. They are learning to:
- count forwards and backwards 0 - 20
- match numbers to objects 0-20
- write the numbers 0 - 20.
Year 1 are focussing on developing a variety of counting strategies and ways to combine quantities. Students are beginning to recognise that there are more efficient ways to count collections than counting by ones. They are working with two-digit numbers (or larger!)
They have been learning to:
- count forwards and backwards by ones from a two-digit number
- partition two-digit numbers using place value
- read, write and order two-digit numbers.
Year 2 students are encouraged to develop different counting strategies, e.g. if they are counting a large number of items, they can count out groups of ten and then count the groups. They are working with three-digit numbers (or larger!)
They have been learning to:
- use place value to represent three-digit numbers.
- explain the value of each digit in a three-digit number.
- show these numbers on a number line.
Learning in Primary - Maths
In S2, the current maths topic is Whole Number with a focus on Place Value. The students are learning to:
- state the place value of digits in numbers
- read, write and order numbers
- arrange numbers in ascending and descending order
The students have been setting personal challenges by reading, writing and saying really BIG numbers. They have discovered patterns and rules and understand that where a number is positioned, that is, where it is placed, indicates its value. They know the importance of zero as a placeholder in numbers; it's not worth anything on its own, but it changes the value of other digits. The students had lots of fun and felt great pride when they were successful in the learning tasks.
In Yr 5, the current maths topic is 2D Space with a focus on triangles. The students are learning to:
- create and draw different triangles, and
- identify what kind of triangle they are.
The students have worked hard to understand how to use a protractor together with rulers to identify the side and angle properties of each type of triangle. There has been a lot of new language to learn and concepts to understand and as a whole, they have demonstrated persistence and a growth mindset to achieve success.
This week the students have been learning about Fractions and Decimals where they were learning to;
- Compare and order fractions with related denominators of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 100
- Record equivalent fractions using diagrams, number lines and numerals
- Write fractions in their ‘simplest form’.
The students used a variety of resources during lessons to learn about fractions and decimals which can be very challenging for many students. Seeing different representations of fractions in many forms is important to help students deepen their knowledge in this topic. They have been finishing off lessons with some fun online tasks which provide repeated opportunities for students to practise their skills.
Mission & Values
Beginning Year Mass and Student Leader Induction
We celebrated our Beginning Year Mass this week with our Kindy and Year 6 families followed by the presentation of badges to our school leaders. Normally, all families are welcome to attend this mass, but unfortunately, we had to limit our guests due to COVID restrictions. Kindergarten processed into the church with their Year 6 buddies and each student had a candle lit for them to symbolise Jesus’ words; I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. John 8:12 Our school captains; Emily, Hugh, Matias and Josie did a wonderful job assisting with the mass and we look forward to celebrating mass with all our families at our School Parish Mass on Sunday 13th March at 8:30 am.
Following the mass, all our Year 6 students were presented with their captaincy badges along with the SRC representatives. We wish all our leaders the best for the year as they fulfil the responsibilities these roles entail.
First Holy Communion and Term 1 School Parish Mass
All families are invited to attend our Term One School Parish on Sunday, 13th March, 8:30 am at St Mary’s Maclean. During the mass, our First Holy Communicants from 2021 will complete their sacrament, which was postponed last year. Our communicants are: Harry Cook, Kavanna Corcoran, Reef Crofton, Alexander Frame, Thomas Hourigan, Huon Mclennan, Billy Opalniuk, and Ziggy Venn. These students will attend Confession next Thursday at 2:15 pm with Fr. Nicolas and myself at the church. We pray for these students and wish them all the best as they prepare for this very exciting and special sacrament.
Our School Parish Masses are held once per term, and it is customary for our Year 6 captains to attend and assist in the mass in the following roles: readers, hospitality (welcoming at the entry) and offertory (carrying the gifts of bread and wine to the altar). Anyone wishing to attend and assist, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can prepare students for their role in the mass.
Incitare - Year 6 Retreat next Friday, 4th March
Incitāre is a one-day retreat experience for Year 6 students from Catholic Primary Schools based in regions of the Diocese to celebrate their faith. The retreat is a chance to bring students together to meet like-minded peers and to celebrate with other young people who practice their faith.
The activities will be a mixture of large and small sharing groups as well as celebrating a liturgy together. The program focuses on the needs of the participants. The experience allows attendees to build relationships with other students in their region and invites the participants to talk about and share their faith journey.
Next Friday 4th March, I will accompany all Year 6 students by bus to McAuley Catholic College in Grafton to participate in this retreat experience. There is no cost for the day, but the students will need to bring lunch, snacks and water and wear their sports uniform and hat.
The bus will leave at 8:45 am and return by the end of the school day. It would be much appreciated if students could be at school by 8:30-8:40 am. Permission forms have been shared through Compass.
Please feel free to email me at email@example.com. if you have further questions.
Mercy Values - Hospitality
A prayer from Catherine McAuley
From Catherine McAuley we learn to reach out to others, especially when they are lonely or sad. Our greatest gift is to welcome another and to share a love that warms their hearts. May our doors always be open to those who come looking for a place to call home. May a good cup of tea await every visitor who knocks at our door, for none comes without a gift, and no guest leaves without a blessing, in Mercy’s name.
Being kind, generous and welcoming to our friends, family and those we know is easy. It takes courage to welcome the stranger. Hospitality is when you identify the “stranger” in your class, your school or your community and be generous and welcoming.
Some of the ways in which we demonstrate hospitality at St Joey’s include;
- Sending our ‘Grandfriends’ (Whiddon group Residents) cards on Grandparents day
- Being generous to each other
- Welcoming new students to our school and making them feel safe and valued
- Saying hello to others each day and using their name
- Offering a helping hand, especially to someone who is not your usual friend.
- Welcoming guests who attend school events or Mass
This week three of our Year 5 students were eager to be ‘on hospitality’ for our Beginning Year Mass. A big thank you to Kavanna, Thomas and Billy for welcoming our guests with kind words and big smiles.
Congratulations to the following students recognised at this fortnight's Awards Assembly:
- Kindy - Alexander Trethowan
- Stage 1 - Kahiah Cook
- Stage 2 - Roman Hickling
- Year 5 - Harrison Cook
- Year 6 - Nathaniel Frame
|Kindergarten||Paxton Capp & Xavier Foscarini||Max Cook & Phoebe Senz|
|Stage 1||Oliver Want & Sophia Wright||Lila Salter & Alexa Steyn|
Oskar Bailey & Meesha Ellis
|Avah Anderson & Ash Hitchings|
Dayla Chapman & Reece Marchant
|Hudson Ardrey & Thomas Hourigan|
|Year 6||Makenzee Dahlenburg & Emily Upston||Sonny Bennett & Ethan McLean|
Class News - Kindy
Kindergarten has had an enjoyable and smooth transition into school life. These first couple of weeks we have been getting to know our classroom and whole school routines. We have been lucky enough to have our amazing Year 6 buddies who have helped us during eating and playtime. We have really enjoyed getting to know them!
Learning in our Kindergarten classroom so far has consisted of reading, writing, counting, and creating mosaic artworks. We have been reading new stories and learning how to retell them in our writing. We do this by drawing pictures and writing the sounds we can hear to make words. In mathematics, we have been learning new counting activities and creating patterns with shape blocks, beads, and rocks. Our first mosaic artwork we have started to create is a mosaic of a colourful fish after we read the book ‘The Rainbow Fish’.
Well done Kindergarten to a fantastic start to the year and getting in and having a go at everything! I look forward to having a fantastic year together and supporting them as their learning journey begins here at St Joseph’s.
Pastoral Care - School Counsellor
Character Strengths: JUSTICE
What is JUSTICE?
It is trying to be fair, which may mean that things aren’t always even. Justice means you have a concern and a respect for all people. It is seeing with your own eyes and not judging something or someone by what other people tell you. You might practice it by standing up for your rights and the rights of other people.
What does it look like in our school?
- We don’t jump to conclusions; we see things from all sides. We can change our minds about something once we have heard different points of view
- If someone is distracting us from our work, we can ask them politely to stop
- If we see someone being picked on, we stand up for them
- If someone is cheating in a game, we can ask them to STOP
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
Pastoral Care - School Chaplain
Seasons for Growth
Seasons for Growth is an innovative, evidence-based change, loss and grief education program that draws on the metaphor of the seasons to understand the experience of grief. It builds the knowledge and skills necessary to strengthen social and emotional wellbeing. Seasons for Growth offers children and young people a safe space to come together and share their experiences of change and loss.
Seasons for Growth will be offered to all students this year, starting with stage 1.
Student Representative Council (SRC)
Congratulations to every candidate in the SRC election on their willingness to become involved in the leadership of our school's student body. We look forward to the elected SRC leading the way in student clubs and activities across the school.
Pancake Tuesday, 1st March, will be our SRCs first event. Please order your pancakes through our compass app.
Ms Juana Mead - School Chaplain
Well done to the following students who have had a busy couple of weeks representing our school in their various sports:
Good luck to Matias Ward, who has made the long journey out to Gunnedah to participate in the Polding Tennis Trials to be held today. The trial will involve students from all parts of the State that are North of the Sydney harbour bridge. Undoubtedly the competition will be of an extremely high standard and should provide Matias with a great experience that will further his tennis development. Have a successful, fun and safe trip, Matias.
Diocesan Swimming Carnival
The Lismore Diocesan Swimming Carnival was held in Murwillumbah on Wednesday 23rd of February. Thank you to Roman Hickling, Roo Coulson and Tasmyn Norris and their families for travelling up in extremely poor weather conditions to represent our school and the Clarence Zone at the carnival. We appreciate your efforts on the day, and St Joseph’s is extremely proud of your achievements.
Summer Sports Trials
Congratulations to Ryley Bultitude and Sam Carroll for their selection in the Clarence Zone Touch and Cricket teams to compete in the Lismore Diocesan Summer Sports Trials. Ryley will be attending the touch trial, which is to be held on Tuesday 8th March at Hepburn Park in Goonellabah, while Sam will be heading to Jim Roder Oval in Lismore on Wednesday 16th March to participate in the Cricket trial. Good luck boys
Winter Sports Trials
Congratulations again to Tasmyn Norris who has had a busy week in sport. She was selected for the Clarence Zone Soccer team which will compete in the Lismore DIocesan Winter Sports Trials to be held in Grafton on Friday the 11th March. Joining her will be Ryley Bultitude and Jai Adamson (Rugby League) and Olivia McIntyre (Hockey). This will be the first level of trials for these sports. The trials for Netball and Rugby Union were postponed due to weather and we wish Kayla Ellis, Emily Upston and Dane Campbell the best of luck when they go ahead.
Luke Hitchings - Sports Coordinator
Premiers Reading Challenge
It’s Premier's Reading Challenge time again! The Challenge runs from 28th Feb - 19th Aug 2022 and aims to encourage a love of reading for leisure and pleasure in students and enable them to experience quality literature. It is not a competition but a challenge to each student to read, to read more and to read more widely. The Premier's Reading Challenge (PRC) is open to all NSW students in Kindergarten to Year 9.
Students must read a certain number of books to complete the challenge. Details are:
Kindy & Stage 1 students: 30 books. Minimum number of PRC books 25 - maximum number of personal choice books 5. Kindy and Stage 1 students can read these books on their own, read them with someone else, or someone can read to them. Recognised PRC books for Kindy/Stage 1 are labelled with a Blue Star in our school library.
Stage 2 students: 20 books. Minimum number of PRC books 15 - maximum number of personal choice books 5. Stage 2 PRC books are labelled with a red star in our school library.
Stage 3 students: 20 books. Minimum number of PRC books 15 - maximum number of personal choice books 5. Stage 3 PRC books are labelled with a green star in our school library.
We aim to have every student at St Joseph's complete the challenge this year. Students who do so receive a certificate from the NSW Premier and will celebrate with a movie afternoon complete with pizza and popcorn in the library.
So let’s get reading!
Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labelled, “This could change your life”.