Week 2 - Term 2 Newsletter 2021
Dear Families and Friends, Welcome back to another year of learning at St Joseph's. These past two weeks have been a very settled period for students and staff and has been a wonderful time for the students to build a rapport with their classroom teachers and to get to know their new learning spaces. We also welcomed our new Kindergarten students into our School Community & it has been so pleasing to see their cheerful, cute faces beaming with excitement each day.
I, and all the school, look forward to getting to know each student and ensuring they have a settled start to their schooling life. Along with our Kindergarten students & their families, we also welcome the Chapman family (Penny - Yr2, Dayla - Yr4, Josie - Yr5) & Green family (Beau - Yr5), we trust that you will begin to feel part of our school community & gain that sense of belonging which, we as a school, strive for.
Parent Information Night
Please be aware our Parent Information Night is on Tuesday 16th February from 5pm. Due to Covid-19 restrictions this night will look slightly different than in the past and we will be unable to begin the night by gathering all together as a staff and parent community.
Instead, we will be holding 2 classroom sessions at 5:00pm & 5:45pm focusing on what our learning space will look like this year for your child. By offering two separate sessions, it is anticipated that this will not only reduce the number of adults present in each session but also allow those parents who have children in multiple classes to attend other sessions as well.
Please also note to comply with our Covid-19 Guidelines we will require online bookings to occur using the following LINK (you will need to use the following code to log in - rt3ad) and we may need to close bookings for a session based on the number of adults we can have in each classroom.
If you are unable to attend either of these sessions due to after-school commitments that all materials shared will be sent home via email or in hard copy. Babysitting will be provided in the library to assist with organisation.
Beginning Year Mass
All Parents & Caregivers are warmly invited to our Beginning Year Mass which will be held this coming Friday 12th February (Week 3) at 9:30 am. This Mass is a wonderful time where we acknowledge our school SRC leaders & School Captains for 2021 and officially welcome our Kindergarten students into our community. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are unable to hold this in the Church and instead it will be held under our School Shelter.
Upon arrival we ask that all parents sign in to our QR code and DO NOT enter the school premises BEFORE 9:15am.
Parent Contact Details
Current and accurate contact information for parents and emergency contacts is a vital aspect in providing for the welfare of students. Please ensure that if your details have changed from 2020 you communicate this updated information to us. 'Student Details' Forms were sent home with the eldest child earlier in the week that contained a number of standard permission requests that are required each year. Please complete and return these to the office as soon as possible.
Just a reminder as we begin our school year to ensure your child is in correct school uniform, particularly socks and footwear (black shoes). Wearing correct uniform not only sets high expectations for our students but also develops a sense of pride in our school. If I could ask that all student belongings are labeled, not only uniforms but also hats, drink bottles, lunch boxes etc. Please check labels regularly to ensure they are still visible, as many tend to wear/come off over time. Labeling everything ensures minimal upset for the child, teacher and parents.
Again, welcome back to our 2021 School Year and as always if you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate in contacting me.
2021 School Staff
Welcome to 2021.
To start the year off, we thought it would be nice for our school community to get to know the staff who are caring for, and teaching your child/ren. So please read on to get a little bit more background about our teachers.
Learning in Infants
Kindergarten - Mr Luke Hitchings
Mr Hitchings has worked at St Josephs for the past ten years and is both a teacher and a parent to Mahala (Yr 6) and Ash (Yr 3). Prior to becoming a teacher, Mr Hitchings was a professional surfer and still enjoys catching a wave and teaching his children to surf. Mr Hitchings enjoys playing many sports including tennis and golf, and is our Sports Coordinator this year as well as the teaching Kindergarten. Mr Hitchings lives in Yamba with his children and his wife Shelley.
Stage 1 - Miss Moore and Mrs Senz
Miss Moore is in her second year of teaching at our school. Prior to working here, Miss Moore was based at Moree. Miss Moore comes from a local family and she went to school in the Clarence Valley. She is a talented singer and in the past has been involved in live performances. Miss Moore is working in Stage 1 Monday to Friday.
Mrs Senz is also a teacher and and parent at our school. She is mum to Olivia (Yr 7), Emma (Yr 5) and Phoebe (in Kindy next year). Mrs Senz loves to go camping with her family and is well known for her great baking skills. Mrs Senz is working in Stage 1 from Tuesday to Thursday, but you may see her around doing relief teaching in our other classes on Mondays and Fridays.
Intervention Teacher - Mrs Mandy Smith
Mrs Smith has been a valued staff member for many years at St Joseph's. This year, Mrs Smith has transitioned from classroom teacher to Intervention Teacher, and she has also made the big change to reduce her work load from full time to 4 days per week. Mrs Smith will provide extra learning support in English and Mathematics for identified students, and will also teach in all classrooms. Mrs Smith has three children, all of whom are working or studying in Brisbane and she enjoys spending time with them as much as possible. Mrs Smith lives locally with her husband, Rod.
Leader of Learning - Mrs Deb Bailey
Mrs Bailey has been a teacher at St Joseph's for the past 11 years and has fulfilled many roles over that time. Currently, she is one of our Leaders of Learning with a focus on Kindergarten and Stage 1. Her role is to support teachers to develop 'best practice' as classroom teachers. Mrs Bailey has two sons, Jack and Harry who are past St Joey's students and now attend McAuley Catholic College in Grafton. Mrs Bailey lives locally with her husband Darryl who works in the SES.
Learning in Primary
Stage 2 - Mrs O'Brien and Ms Zietsch
Mrs O'Brien was previously known as Miss Lewis and this year has moved from being our Kindy teacher to our Stage 2 teacher from Monday to Friday. Mrs O'Brien is from a local family and is currently expecting her first child with her husband Nick. Mrs O'Brien will be working in Stage 1 for Term 1 when she will commence maternity leave.
Ms Zietsch is teaching in Stage 1 from Tuesday to Thursday. Ms Zietsch is from a local family and is enjoying being a mum to her toddler Hayley with her husband Robbie. Sleep is an often discussed topic in the staffroom! Ms Zietsch is a very talented singer and musician and she is our Creative Arts Coordinator this year and she has some very exciting things planned for our students in 2021.
Stage 3 - Miss Ayres and Mrs McLennan
Miss Ayres has been teaching with us for the past few years. Prior to working at St. Joseph's she was a graduate teacher at Wauchope. Miss Ayres has many interests and is an avid sportsperson and exerciser. This year, Miss Ayres is our Leader of Curriculum, Additional Needs Coordinator and our Digital Technologies expert! She has many hats to wear this year, but on Monday to Thursday you will find her working in Stage 3.
Mrs McLennan is also a parent and teacher this year. She is mum to Huon (Yr 4), Rose (preschool), and wife to Adam. Mrs McLennan has worked with us previously as a Teaching Assistant whilst she was studying Primary School teaching. This is her first teaching position and she is working in Stage 3 from Tuesday to Friday. We wish her all the best in her new career with us.
Leader of Learing - Mrs Deb Mullins
Mrs Mullins has been working at St Joseph's for the past 11 years as a classroom teacher for many of those years, and recently as a Leader of Learning (focus on Years 3-6) and Leader of Religious Education (Catechesis and Evangelisation). Mrs Mullins is from a local family and she has one son, Tommy who is a currently in Year 12 at McAuley Catholic College. Mrs Mullins also lives locally with her husband, Dan.
And of course our School wouldn't be without our amazing Ancillary Staff who ensure our school being a settled and beautiful place to come to each day. Please see below our Staff and their roles in 2021:
Front Office Staff
- Mrs Teliesha Roach (Finance & Accounts)
- Mrs Kylie Johnson (School Administration)
- Mrs Alesha Tipler (Stage 2 & Pastoral Care)
- Mr Brendan Randall (Stage 3 & Indigenous Education Worker)
- Mrs Bobbie Waghorn (Stage 1 & Librarian)
- Mrs Kate Naylor (School Counsellor)
- Mrs Juana Mead (School Chaplain)
- Miss Rachael Imeson (will work in all spaces on a part-time basis)
School Grounds Staff
- Mr Tom Sangster (Grounds & Maintenance)
- Mrs Melissa Cope (Cleaning & Canteen)
Mission & Values
Welcome to 2021 which brings new goals and learning for our staff and students in regards to Religious Education in our Catholic School.
To commence the year, I thought it may be helpful for our parent community to have some information about the various types of religious words we use in our school setting, so this week, I have created a type of 'Religious Education Glossary' for those of you who may be unfamiliar with the language you may hear used throughout the year.
Leader of School Evangelisation (LoSE) and Catechesis (LoCt).
These are two different roles but as we are a small school, I am the coordinator of both positions. Put simply, the LoSE role focuses on Faith Development of staff and students, whereas the LoCt role focuses on the Religious Education curriculum (the teaching of Religious Education lessons). Each role is closely related and I often think each one can be thought of as learning; HOW TO BE RELIGIOUS (evangelisation) and learning ABOUT RELIGION (catechesis).
The Liturgical Year is marked by special seasons: Advent, Christmas, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, and Ordinary Time. Each season is depicted by a particular colour; Green, Red, Purple or White. The Liturgical Year begins on the first Sunday of Advent, which usually occurs around the beginning of December or the end of November. A circular Liturgical Calendar is displayed in each classroom.
A well-known word that is close in meaning to ‘liturgy’ is the word ‘worship’. But while worship can be done privately, ‘liturgy’ is always a public, group activity. We participate in liturgies to celebrate special church days throughout the year; Easter, Ash Wednesday, St Joseph's Feast Day, Mary McKillop Feast Day, Sisters of Mercy Feast Day, The Assumption of Mary and Christmas.
Although not a Catholic term, we celebrate other non-liturgical events during the year such as; Mother's Day, Father's Day and Grandparent's Day.
Sacraments are rites instituted by Jesus and believed to be means of grace: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Communion, Penance, Holy Orders, Matrimony, and Anointing of the Sick are the seven recognized by the Catholic church. This year our Sacramental Program will be altered due to the impact of COVID in 2020. Confirmation will be offered to baptised Year 3 students whilst Reconciliation & First Holy Communion will be offered to Year 4 baptised students.
2021 - The Year of St Joseph
This year Pope Francis has proclaimed a “Year of St Joseph”, running from December 8, 2020 to December 8, 2021. In the eyes of the Pope, Saint Joseph is an extraordinary person who epitomises our own experiences. By reflecting on Joseph’s life, we can appreciate that God calls each of us to love freely, to accept our responsibility to welcome and serve others, to use and develop our gifts and talents, to appreciate the value and dignity of honest work, to overcome our challenges and become “courageously and firmly proactive” in our daily living.
We will be celebrating St Joseph's Day together as a school community this term.
Mrs Deb Mullins
Congratulations to the following students for be recognised at this fortnight's Awards Assembly:
Principal Awards: Lawson Bell, Penny Cook, Reece Marchant, Reuben Lewis
|Stage 1 ( Year 1 & 2)
William King Zachary Turner
Cooper Want Roman Hickling
|Stage 2 (Year 3 & 4)
Sahara Cook Bronx Hickling
Meesha Ellis Dayla Chapman
|Stage 3 (Year 5 & 6)
|Sam Carroll Mahala Hitchings
Sonny Bennett Ethan McLean
Class News - Kindergarten
It has been a marvellous experience to be in Kindergarten to kick off 2021. Thanks to Miss Bec and her work with Junior Joeys last year all of the students have had a very smooth transition into big school. In the classroom we have had a lot of fun learning our letters and their corresponding sounds. Identifying, writing and making numbers has also brought moments of excitement for everyone and the smiles that follow are priceless. I think the most heartwarming part of our first week though is how welcoming the other students have been. Watching a sibling or friend take one of our newcomers by the hand and walk them around the playground to make sure they have someone to sit with at eating time or friends to play with just shows how special our school community is. I am looking forward to nurturing the enthusiasm of these wonderful children and supporting them as their learning journey begins at St Joseph’s.
Pastoral Care - School Counsellor
Talking and Listening : Why it’s good for children
When you make time and space to talk and listen with your child, they learn that what they think and say is important to you.
This makes your relationship stronger and builds your child’s self-esteem and confidence.
Listening and talking together also helps your child learn social skills like listening to others.
Making time to talk regularly can be easier if you have a special place to be close or you make a special time to talk each day. For example, you might have a special chair, or you could sit and talk with your child after they get into bed each night.
Find ways to talk regularly with your child. It might be when you’re walking home from school, when you’re having a cuddle in an armchair after dinner, or before you read bedtime stories with your child each night.
- Get your child talking by asking open-ended questions like ‘What was something fun you did today?’
- Show interest and encourage your child to talk more by saying things like ‘Tell me more about ...’, ‘Really!’ and ‘Go on ...’. This sends your child the message that what they say is important to you.
- Watch your child’s facial expressions and body language. Listening isn’t just about hearing your child’s words, but also about trying to understand what’s behind the words.
- Prompt your child to tell you how they feel about things – for example, ‘It sounds like you felt left out when Felix wanted to play with the other kids at lunch’.
- If you get something wrong, just ask your child to help you understand.
Mrs Kate Naylor – School Counsellor & Art Therapist
Pastoral Care - School Chaplain
Chaplaincy-While it is early days yet, 2021 is shaping up to be another amazing year at St Joseph’s Primary. I am eagerly awaiting the formation of the new SRC for this year with projects already in the planning stage for the students to be actively involved in.
A huge thank you to the outgoing students of the SRC, your service to your fellow students, your school and your local community is to be commended. Each of you is truly amazing.
Shrove Tuesday/Pancake Day
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten Season. We are encouraged to give life to our faith, by promoting a ‘BE MORE’ in solidarity with the world's poor. We can do this through helping to end poverty, promote justice and uphold the dignity of each person. As part of starting our fundraising to support Project Compassion during Lent we will be cooking pancakes with all proceeds going to support the Caritas Lenten Appeal . Our pancake day will be occuring on Tuesday 16th of February which is Shrove Tuesday. Notes went out to all students this week.
In a few short weeks we will also begin our Lenten Journey with our support for Project Compassion. The theme this year is:
Give Lent 100% “Working together for our Global Community”
More information will be available in the upcoming newsletters about the assistance Project Compassion is providing across the globe in 2021.
St Joseph's is hoping to start a new playgroup within our school. Starting a playgroup is an exciting time and will help us build lasting friendships and connections to our local community. At playgroups parents and carers get together with their young children for a couple of hours each week to connect, learn through play and most importantly, have fun. Essentially, playgroup is one of the first, and most important social networks for children and families.
We invite all our families and local community members who are interested or would like more information to please contact Juana Mead on 66452340.
Mrs Juana Mead
School Sport - Swimming Carnival
A big thank you to everyone who turned out last Friday to help support our School Swimming Carnival. By all accounts it was a wonderful day of sportsmanship. A big thankyou to Miss Imeson for running the carnival in my absence, whilst I remained back at school with the Kindergarten students.
Congratulations to all the boys and girls who were awarded places in their respective races and a special mention to the our Age Champions for 2021:
- Junior girl champion: Sahara Cook
- Junior boy champion: Reef Crofton
- Senior girl champion: Tasmyn Norris
- Senior boy champion: Jason Maitz
Our House results from the carnival were as follows:
- 1st - Gibraltar on 284
- 2nd - Bundjalung 239
- 3rd - Yuraygir on 200 points.
Zone Swimming Team
Congratulations to those students who qualified for our school Swimming team & will be competing in the Clarence Zone Swimming Trials next Thursday 11th February (being held in Maclean):
BOYS: Ash Hitchings, Thomas Hourigan, Reef Crofton, Lachlan Coulter, Xavier Adamson, Jason Maitz, Ryley Bultitude, Sonny Bennett, Jai Adamson, Austin Allison-Eckersley, Reuben Lewis and Maverick Fear.
GIRLS: Ivy Towner, Sahara Cook, Dayla Chapman, Grace Bell, Olive Ardrey, Kavanna Corcoran, Tasmyn Norris, Kayla Ellis, Emily Upston and Mahala Hitchings.
School Events & Dates
- Thursday 11th February- Clarence Zone Swimming Canival
- Tuesday 16th February - Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day)
- Tuesday 16th February - Parent Information Night (5:00pm)
- Wednesday 17th February - Ash Wednesday
- Tuesday 23rd February - PP Meetings
- Friday 26th February - Stage 2 & 3 Excursion to Archibald Prize Exhibition
- Friday 26th February - Diocesan Swimming Carnival
- Friday 5th March - Incitare Excursion (Year 6)
Covid-19 Information for Parents & Students
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, the NSW Government is taking some precautionary measures to ensure that our schools remain safe places for everyone at the commencement of the 2021 school year.
- Parent pick-up will remain the same as per Term 4 until further notice, with students being collected at the Front Office stairs or Parent car park gate at the end of the school day.
- Parents can meet with classroom teachers in regards to learning/behavioural concerns on school grounds however it needs to be pre-planned and requested via email or phone (i.e. not impromptu).
- Parents are still unable to be on school-site unless assisting in the canteen, for an organised & approved School event or as mentioned above.
Staff & Student Illness
Students and staff who display flu-like symptoms are still required to get a COVID Test or a doctors certificate stating they do not require a test due to another medical condition (i.e hay fever/allergies) prior to their return to school. Students and staff are not to return regardless of a negative test, until the symptoms have ceased.
- Field trips, excursions and camps - can go ahead with COVID safe plans. Schools should consider that border closures and/or areas within NSW being declared red or hot zones can occur at very short notice.
School performances and assemblies
● Gala days, school performances and other major school events can be planned for 2021 with a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place.
● School assemblies, whole of school assemblies can continue.
● All interschool sport and physical activities, zone carnivals and gala days can continue. This means that schools and students can travel outside of their local community.
● Sporting events and activities held outside of the school site during school hours will need to follow the COVID-19 Safety Plan of the venue or organiser.
Notes Sent Home
Please find below links to the following School Notes that were sent home in the last fortnight: