Week 2 - Term 2 Newsletter 2023
Dear Families and Friends,
Welcome back to what is shaping up to be another wonderful term of learning and community. A big thank you to all the families and students who attended last week's ANZAC Day March. We could not have been more proud of the students that represented our school.
We are so grateful for the fantastic Parish School we are a part of. It was lovely to see all the siblings and parents join us in the commemoration ceremony. Thank you to Dayla & Billy for laying the wreath on behalf of our school. Also a further thank you to all the Stage 3 students for leading the school ANZAC Liturgy last Wednesday - this was an important time for us, as a whole school, to reflect and acknowledge those who have served our country.
School Improvement - Parent Survey
As part of our focus on school effectiveness, St Joseph’s will be participating in an online survey for students, teachers and parents to provide feedback on their experience of our school using an online survey – Tell Them From Me (TTFM®). The surveys are an important part of our whole school evaluation and planning process. The survey window will be from Week 2 & 3 this term, and communication has already been dispersed via Compass.
We would like to invite you to complete the Tell Them From Me (TTFM) Partners in Learning survey from Week 2 -3 this term. As we value the role of parents and carers within our school community, we would greatly appreciate your feedback. The information you provide will be used to maintain our commitment to working together in partnership further to improve student learning and wellbeing in our school.
The survey is anonymous and will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. You will be able to access the parent survey on your computer or mobile device when the survey window opens.
We would like to invite you to complete the survey using this LINK.
The student survey will also provide valuable feedback on what our students think about school life, how engaged they are with school and the different ways teachers interact with them. The survey measures include such topics as emotional and social well-being, physical health, and behaviours and attitudes linked to student success. The survey also allows students to give their thoughts and feedback in open-ended question responses.
Mother's Day High Tea & Liturgy
A reminder to all our mother's, grandmothers and significant women in our students lives that you are invited to attend both our Mother's Day High Tea (10:30 am) and/or our Mother's Day Liturgy (12:00 pm) next Friday, 12th May. This is a lovely way to, as a school community, celebrate and show our appreciation to the wonderful women in our children's lives.
The school will also be running a Stall on Wednesday 10th May and students are invited to purchase a gift for their Mother/Nan. Please note that all gifts will be $5 each & student will only be able to purchase a 2nd gift once all classes have attended the stall. This stall is only optional & if students have organised gifts elsewhere, please don’t feel obligated to purchase.
Parent Forum - Term 2 Meeting
Next Tuesday, 9th May (5:00-6:30 pm), we will be holding our Term 2 Parent Forum meeting in the School Library.
It would be wonderful to see some new faces after our Term 1 meeting & AGM had a good group of families sharing their voice and expectations for the year ahead. Whilst our Executive Positions are filled, we are always looking for new parents who would like to be involved in 'Parent Voice & Parent Community', which is the main focus of our Parent Forum, please know that ALL PARENTS ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND each Termly meeting.
If you have any questions, want an item added to the agenda, or are interested in any of the above positions, please get in touch with Lauren Kirkland, our Parent Forum Chairperson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Kindergarten & Little Joey's Enrolments
Whilst I acknowledge that our Little Joey's program will not be starting until Semester 2, I encourage all families to make contact with the School Front Office immediately, and 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. Places for this program are filling up, with only limited spaces remaining, and we would like to ensure our current school community can secure a placement before beginning a 'waiting list'.
Additionally, I am also asking families to begin submitting an enrolment form for Kindergarten 2022, as at this early stage, we will look at having to consider a 'waiting list' based on current enquiries.
Class Term Overviews
Please find attached below, Term Overviews for all classes. These Overviews are important in letting you know what topics or areas of focus your child will be engaging with each subject through the course of the Term. Also within the document is a copy of your child's timetable, so that you can not only be aware of what they are covering each day but a point of reference for asking 'how was their day' etc. Please note 'hard copies' will be sent home with all students on Monday.
Upcoming School Dates
- Parent Forum Term 2 Meeting (Tuesday 9th May)
- Mother's Day Stall (Wednesday 10th May - Week 3)
- Mother's Day High Tea & Liturgy (Friday 12th May - Week 3)
- Diocesan Cross Country (Tuesday 23rd May)
- 'Close the Gap' Day - Stage 2 & 3 (Thursday 8th June)
Leader 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.
- 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)
Leader of Mission
Mother's Day Celebration Next Friday
We are looking forward to our upcoming Mother's Day celebration! This is a special day to honour and appreciate the amazing mothers and other special women in our lives. We have planned a wonderful liturgy at 12:00 pm to follow after the delicious High Tea in the Cranney Room. And of course, we will have some special gifts for our St Joey's mums from the children which will be given out during the celebration.
We look forward to celebrating this special day with you!
I have received a few questions regarding Confirmation.
Year 3 students who have been baptised are eligible to complete the Sacrament of Confirmation. The ceremony will take place on Thursday 15th August during Term 3. If the student is older and has missed out on this sacrament, they are also able to participate. I will be sharing more information closer to the date.
Catholic Schools Week Mass
Today our Year 6 students travelled to Grafton to attend a special Mass as part of Catholic Schools Week celebrations. Before the Mass, we were fortunate to visit the Grafton Regional Gallery and viewed two exhibitions; ZOONOSES: Dr Nicola Hooper and Frances Belle Parker: TRUTH (Just be careful who you offend). This was a wonderful opportunity for our students to expand their knowledge and appreciation of art, and to gain a deeper understanding of the creative processes involved in making art.
The Mass followed at 12:00 pm at St. Mary's Church, Grafton and was a wonderful opportunity for our students to come together with members of our school community to reflect on the importance of Catholic education. During the Mass, our Year 6 students processed in with McAuley Year 10 students and participated in a range of roles, They carried out their responsibilities with reverence and respect and were a credit to our school. Thank you to Gabbi Quarello for assisting in Prayers of the Faithful.
After Mass, our students had the opportunity to meet and mingle with the Clarence Catholic school community members and enjoy a sausage sizzle. They spoke enthusiastically about the experience and the sense of community and belonging that they felt during the day.
We would like to thank McAuley students, Mrs Kathy Warby for organising the Mass and our Year 6 students for their excellent participation. We look forward to continuing to celebrate Catholic Schools Week at our school at a later date this year.
Mercy In Action Award
This fortnight's Mercy Award goes to Gabbi Quarello in recognition of displaying the Mercy Value of Service, demonstrated by her commitment to caring for younger students in our school community and inspiring others to show kindness and compassion to those around them.
Congratulations to the following students recognised at this fortnight's Awards Assembly:
Kindy: Aleaha Bennett
Year 1: Erin Murtha-Clough
Year 2: Noa Chapman
Year 3: Jai Agic
Year 4: Penny Chapman
Year 5: Hailen Capp
Year 6: Harry Cook
Our Class Award winners this week are:
Class News - Kinder
Welcome back for another great term!
We are all very excited to be back at school and eager to learn!
In English, we have been learning to form our own opinions about characters and understand that authors/other have different perspectives. We began to explore a book called ‘Chip’ who is a seagull who likes chips. Our lessons have consisted of drawing and labelling a seagull to identify adjectives to use later in in our writing and reading our text through the eyes of the character to understand their perspective. We enjoyed this lesson as we were capable of understanding that Chip the bird loves chips and does not like apples. With this knowledge our sentences were created and here are some examples:
‘I like chips.’
‘I like salty chips.’
In Maths, we have been beginning our lessons with number activities to count, add, recognise and write our numbers. We are learning how to weigh objects by hefting to determine which is heavier, lighter or equivalent. We have been putting our mathematician hats on to predict, measure and record our findings. On Thursday last week we created clay animals to compare the weight of each others by hefting and we are very excited to paint them soon. We really enjoy the hands-on approach when problem-solving in our Maths lessons.
It's looking like Term 2 will be a great term for lots of learning and fun in Kindy!
Digital Technolgoy News!
Our teachers are embracing Virtual Reality (VR) as a valuable tool to enhance their teaching this term. With the ability to transport students to any location, VR offers a unique and immersive learning experience that allows students to learn through firsthand experience. This enables students to explore complex concepts and delve deep into the subject matter with a level of interactivity that was previously impossible.
The incorporation of VR in the classroom can have numerous benefits for students. VR encourages active learning and helps students hone their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. VR can be especially effective in improving retention and deepening engagement due to its immersive nature. It also allows students to safely access real-world experiences without leaving the safety of their classroom.
Both teachers and students are excited and eager to begin using VR in our classrooms. We look forward to sharing some of the learning with you as the term progresses.
Clarence Cross Country Carnival
25 students from St Joseph’s travelled to McAuley Catholic College in Grafton to compete in the Clarence Zone Cross Country Carnival on Wednesday, the 3rd of May. We were greeted with clear skies and sun and our students battled valiantly and put in some courageous performances.
Congratulations to Millie Green who finished 7th in the 11yrs Girls and Roo Coulson who finished 8th in the 11yrs Boys. Both of these stduents will move on to the Lismore Diocesan Cross Country which will be held on Tuesday 23rd May. I would also like to thank all of the students who attended the carnival and represented our school and gave it their all.
NSW Schools Cup and Netball Gala Day
Stage 2 and Stage 3 ventured down to the Maclean netball courts on Thursday 4th 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 though 2 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.
I would like to congratulate all students and staff for making this such a successful and enjoyable day for all.
“The artist is not a special kind of person; rather each person is a special kind of artist.”
- Ananda Coomaraswamy
As a whole school, St Joseph's continues to blow the mind of their teachers across the aspects of creativity, imitation, innovation and skill when it comes to visual arts. Last term the entire school went on a learning journey about a specific, well known and revered artist to have a finalised product in our 'Avenue of Art' (which took place before our Easter Liturgy).
Kindy: Pablo Picasso
Stage 1: Pete Cromer
Stage 2: David Hockney
Stage 3: Claude Monet
From these artworks; a handful from each year level were selected to be entered into the annual Maclean Show; which we celebrated last Wednesday. Here are the students, their artworks and their placings below. We are SO proud of every student for their creativity and passion for everything Creative Arts!
Kindy: Alfie, Pepper, Leo (HC), Aleah & Callie
Stage 1: Erin, Will, Dotti (2nd) & Pax [not pictured is Alex T]
Stage 2: Lila (3rd), Brock, Owen (3rd) & Oskar (2nd) [not pictured is Alexa (1st) and Shiloh (2nd)]
Stage 3: Reece M, Reece B, Jesse Mae (2nd), Georgia, Millie, Avah (HC), Gabbi (HC), Bronx (3rd) [not pictured is Huon].
Pastoral Care - School Chaplain
Mother’s Day High Tea
St Joseph’s will be following tradition once again with our Mother’s Day High Tea in 2023. This is a special time for our school community to thank the wonderful women in our lives and show them how much they are loved.
We invite all our Mothers and Significant Women to join us next Friday 12th May, at 10.30am in the Cranney room.
Our outstanding Community and SRC leaders will be helping to serve on the day. The high tea is proudly and generously funded by the Catholic Schools Parent Assembly. More information will be available via compass and social media.
St Vinnies breakfast club is up and running again in term 2. Every Thursday students are invited to dine on a warm cheese toastie served by our student volunteers. A gluten free option is available. This is a free breakfast for all our students to enjoy.
Breaky club is generously funded by St Vincent De Paul Maclean.
If any parents would like to join the Maclean Vinnies Society please contact Juana Mead via our school office.
Pastoral Care - School Counselor
The importance of resilience in our students
Resilience is the ability to bounce back from difficult situations and challenges. It is an essential skill that can help students navigate the ups and downs of life, both in and out of the classroom.
At our school, we believe that building resilience is a key component of our students' social-emotional learning. We teach our students to develop a growth mindset, which is the belief that their abilities and intelligence can be developed through hard work and dedication. This mindset helps students view challenges as opportunities for growth and learning, rather than as obstacles to overcome.
We also encourage our students to practice self-care and healthy coping strategies. This can include engaging in physical activity, spending time with friends and family, and practicing mindfulness and relaxation techniques.
As parents and guardians, you can also play an important role in helping your child build resilience. Encourage your child to take on new challenges and try new things, while also providing a supportive and safe environment for them to do so. Model healthy coping strategies and problem-solving skills, and be available to listen and offer support when your child needs it.
By working together, we can help our students develop the resilience they need to succeed in school and in life.
Lauren Kirkland - Chairperson of the Parent Forum
Term 2 has kicked off and we’re back in the library having a great time! This year we have a new “Monster” arrive in the library at the start of each term, which is to say our book return box is transformed, and we have a small writing competition surrounding this for students who would like to participate. We simply ask students to name the Monster and tell us a creative story, telling us where he has come from and what he is doing at St Joey’s. We look forward to hearing what the students come up with!
Our imaginative play space has also been transformed for the start of term 2 and is now a construction zone. As you can see we enjoy building an array of structures, as well as developing our social and emotional development, problem solving skills and increasing our creativity.
And as always, we encourage students to “Get Caught Up In A Book” from one of the thousands of beautiful books here in the St Joey’s library.