Week 4 - Term 1 Newsletter 2023
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 last Friday, 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 2023 School Year.
2023 SRC Leaders
Congratulations to the following students who were selected by their peers to represent them on our 2023 Student Representative Council:
Year 2 - Kal-lel Randall & Bella Camilleri
Year 3 - Isaak Bailey & Sophia Wright
Year 4 - Brock Camilleri & Jessika Dalton
Year 5 - Taj Gibbons & Amelia Green
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 last 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.
Family Connect Worker - Skye Pullen
This term, we welcome back Skye as our school’s Family Connect worker, who worked alongside our school community in 2021 & 2022. For those families unfamiliar with our Family Conect Worker role - Skye is here to support families to access the services they might need to help their family thrive.
She can assist families in a wide range of areas including NDIS, housing, counselling, parenting programs, supporting parents of children with anxiety, family violence and addiction services and many other services that families may need from time to time.
Skye has a background in social work and teaching and has worked extensively in health and community projects. She is a qualified practitioner in many parenting programs including 1,2,3 Magic and Tuning into Kids and is looking forward to being involved in our parent learning opportunities in the near future.
Skye will be present at school every Thursday and can be contacted Monday-Thursday on 0417004779 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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. Please do not contact your classroom teacher as this message does not always get passed on the Front Office prior to classroom learning beginning and the Front Office oversees the attendance and communication to our families.
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
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.
Little Joey's Transition Program
A reminder that we will again be running our Little Joey’s which will be held in our library and begin in Term 3 - Friday 28th July, continuing each Friday for the remainder of the 2023 school year. These initial sessions in Term 3 are open to any child in the community who will be of school age in 2024. Children are welcome to attend each Friday from 9:30 am until 2:30 pm.
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 prior to accepting new families. Thus if you are a CURRENT FAMILY, I ask that you contact the School Front Office to request a Little Joey's Enrolment form.
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 2024, 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.
Leader of Mission
Incitare - Year 6 Retreat Friday, 3rd 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.
Mrs Senz 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. if you have further questions.
Mercy In Action Award
This year we have initiated a special award each fortnight to acknowledge one student who has demonstrated outstanding Mercy Values with their 'head, heart and hands'. These students will be presented with their Mercy in Action Award at Assembly and their photo will be featured on the display board in the amphitheatre to celebrate with our school community.
This week's recipient of this prestigious award is Grace Bell in recognition of her ability to display the Mercy Value of Hospitality, through her interactions with staff, students and particularly our new Kindergarten students. Grace is someone who is welcoming & makes others feel like they belong.
Well Done, Grace.
Congratulations to the following students recognised at this fortnight's Awards Assembly:
Kindy: Luna Wood
Year 1: Rose McLennan
Year 2: Rose McLennan
Year 3: Alexa Steyn
Year 4: Hugo Simpson
Year 5: Jacob McIntyre
Year 6: Noah Harris
|Kindergarten||Pepper Cooper||Zayden Essex|
|Year 1||Gemma Buckley||Tyler Black|
|Year 2||Max Anderson||Kal-El Randall|
|Year 3||Sam Kirkland||Isaak Bailey|
|Year 4||Riley Elms||Owen Moss|
|Year 5||Taj Gibbons||Georgia Salter|
|Year 6||Tate Anderson||Liam Dahlenburg|
Class News - Stage 1
Welcome to 2023 in Stage 1!
We are off to a cracker of a start this year and have been so excited to move into our new space.
In the first couple of weeks, we spent a lot of time creating what we want our classroom to look like, sound like and feel like. This included creating our classroom expectations and learning different things about each other. We had so much fun discovering the similarities and differences we all have!
In Year 1 writing, we have been learning about structuring exciting sentences, and creating our own published pages for books we have read. We have been looking at the components that make up a great piece of writing. Such as, nouns, verbs, prepositions, adjectives and WOW words.
In Year 2, we have been looking at Aboriginal culture, the spiritual connection they have with the land and the tradition of Welcome to Country. We are trying to emulate this tradition to create a positive classroom environment based on respectful relationships.
We are looking forward to a fantastic term filled with fun and learning!
Mrs McMahon & Mr Hitchings
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:
Bel Chapman - School Counsellor
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 2. This program will be available for stage 1 and 3 throughout the year.
Student Representative Council (SRC) Pancake Day
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, 21st February was our SRC’s first event. We raised funds for Caritas Australia to help people in need make their lives better. This week our focus was on Laxmi who is 16. She lives with her mother and siblings in a remote area in Nepal where nearly half the people live below the poverty line. Laxmi joined a child’s club at her school that was run with the support of Caritas Australia’s partner, Caritas Nepal.
Laxmi has now finished school, but she is still involved in the child’s club. Now, she helps guide the next generation of young leaders.
Thank you to our SRC for providing our Sister of Mercy value of service to our school community and raising funds for people like Laxmi. Your service was outstanding.Thank you also to our families who supported this fundraiser. We raised over $200.
Ms Juana Mead - School Chaplain
Pastoral Care - Family Connect
Family Connect Tip
The Premier's Back to School NSW Vouchers program provides 3 x $50 vouchers, totalling $150 for each eligible student.
The vouchers can be used:
- towards the cost of school uniforms, shoes, bags, technology, textbooks and other eligible expenses
- at registered businesses
- before 30 June 2023
0417 00 4779 or email@example.com
Our school golf program has been running for two weeks now and it is amazing to see the growth in the students. While the development in their physical ability has been pleasing, the most exciting growth has to be in their attitude and belief. Golf was new to a majority of our students and in the first session hearing, “I couldn’t hit a ball with that”, or something along those lines was quite a regular occurrence. These comments have been replaced with, “Did you see how far I hit that?”, “I love golf”, “This is so much fun!”
Mark has been great with the kids, working in mobility and stretching as well as a little bit of anatomy as the kids learn terms such as, deltoids, rotator cuffs, hamstrings, calves and more. The most popular by far though has to be gluteus maximus. It has been the first muscle kids remember as we go through our warm up routine.
The first two weeks have focused on the full swing and chipping. Much like the kids, I am really looking forward to seeing what Mark has planned over the next two weeks.
Luke Hitchings - Sports Coordinator
The Premiers Reading Challenge has kicked off for another year! The PRC runs from 27th Feb- 18th Aug and aims to encourage a love of reading for leisure and pleasure in students. It is not a competition but a challenge to each student to read, to read more and to read more widely. The PRC is open to all NSW students in Kindergarten to Year 10, in government, independent, Catholic and home schools. We encourage all St Joseph’s students to complete the challenge and hopefully be a part of a fun reward at the end of the year! Rules for the challenge are as follows:
Kindergarten - Yr 2 - 30 books total (max number personal choice books 10), PRC books are labelled with a blue star in our library. Students can read books on their own, read with someone else, or someone can read them to the student.
Year 3 & 4 - 20 books total (max number personal books 10) PRC books are labelled with a red star in our library. Students must read books on their own, but someone can help them choose the books.
Year 5 & 6 - 20 books total (max number personal books 10) PRC books are labelled with a green star in our library. Students must read books on their own, but someone can help them choose the books
Mrs Bobbie Waghorn
Parent Forum News
Our Parent Forum meeting and AGM was held in the library on Tuesday 21st of February, it was very encouraging to see so many parents along and great to have new faces attend.
School Canteen Fundraising
Our school canteen is in much need of an upgrade and in order to support this the Parent Forum have agreed to fund $20,000 towards the canteen renovations/upgrade. This means our focus for fundraising this year will be our school canteen.
With that in mind the parent forum have decided to hold a school fete later in the year, more information to come.
Silent Disco and Welcome BBQ
Our silent disco and welcome BBQ will be on Tuesday 7th at 5pm at the school. We look forward to a great night to welcome our new families to our school community. A BBQ will be ran by the parent forum on the night- eftpos and cash payments available. Please use the compass events tab to purchase your child’s head set for the disco. Looking forward to seeing everyone there.
Lauren Kirkland - Chairperson of the Parent Forum
JUNIORS JUNIORS JUNIORS - Our first Junior sign-on for this year will be held THIS SUNDAY at the Yamba River Markets.
If you can't make it to the markets, come and see us at Kane Douglas Rugby Field between 5pm - 6pm on Monday, 27 February.
Don't forget, we're also looking for volunteers to help run the club.