Week 4 - Term 4 Newsletter 2023
Dear Families and Friends,
Thank you for the wonderful attendance by all grandparents yesterday; the staff and I were truly touched by the overwhelming response we received. It was a heartwarming afternoon filled with numerous smiles and precious moments, particularly the willingness of many grandparents to embrace the role of an honorary grandparent for the day. The sight of Nans, Pops, Pas, Mas, and even a few great-grandparents was truly heartening. The day allowed both our students and grandparents to partake in organized classroom activities, fostering a profound "sense of belonging" within our school community. It served as a poignant reminder of the invaluable role that grandparents play in our students' lives, offering nurturing, wisdom, and a compassionate presence that enriches our school community.
2024 Teaching Team
After much thought and consideration, please see below our staffing and classroom arrangements for 2024. I acknowledge there are some changes to our existing structures. Our spaces have been structured based on current student numbers and available staff funding for 2024.
- Assistant Principal (Learning & Teaching) - Mrs Deb Bailey
- Kindergarten - Mrs Bec Bennett
- Year 1 - Mrs Elouise Stokes
- Year 2 - Mrs Deb Mullins
- Year 3 - Mr Bridon Pettiford-Dank
- Year 4 - Mrs Carly Mclennan
- Year 5 - Mrs Emalee Kinsella
- Year 6 - Mrs Louise Senz
- Infants Literacy & Numeracy Intervention & RFF - Mrs Mandy Smith
- Primary Literacy & Numeracy Intervention & RFF - Mr Anthony Gilchrist
- Primary Literacy & Numeracy Intervention & RFF - Ms Phoebe Zietsch
- Teacher Assistants - Miss Ava Bowcock, Mrs Emma Dougerty, Mrs Juana Mead, Mrs Dani O'Brien & Miss Alesha Tipler
- Indigenous Education Worker - Mr Brendan Randall
- Front Office Staff - Mrs Amelia Bell & Mrs Teliesha Roach
I am pleased to announce that next year, we will welcome one new staff member onto our teaching team in 2024. Miss Elouise Stokes (St Joseph's Alstonville) will join us, and we look forward to having Ellie on staff next year and what she will bring to our community. Additionally, Mrs Belle McMahon & Ms Lauren Ross will be returning from their respective maternity leave at different stages in the new year in a part-time capacity.
It is also with mixed emotions that I inform our school community that Mr Luke Hitchings has decided to take a break from teaching effective this week. Whilst I acknowledge the difficult timing around this, Luke will be taking leave for the remainder of the year and, throughout 2024, begin to explore other work options. Luke has been a valued staff member and has shown great commitment to our school community, taking on the role of Leader of Sport for over 10 years. Providing wonderful sporting opportunities to our students & staff. Whilst we will miss Luke, I do support & understand Luke's decision, and I wish him all the best as he has a well-deserved break and begins to take the next steps in exploring other opportunities.
School Musical - Winnie the Pooh
I would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to Miss Zietsch for her remarkable dedication and the exceptional hard work of our students in bringing the school musical, "Winnie the Pooh," to life last week. Our students demonstrated remarkable talent, enthusiasm, and perseverance, delivering a heartwarming and delightful show that left a lasting impression on all who attended. The students also had the opportunity to perform on 5 occasions, including three performances to our local pre-schools, strengthening our relationship with the local community.
Miss Zietsch's commitment and tireless efforts were instrumental in creating a memorable and enchanting performance. We are immensely proud of their achievements and the collaborative spirit that made this production a resounding success. Thank you, Phoebe, for your leadership & passion for our Creative Arts and to all the students for their incredible performances.
World Teachers' Day
Earlier this week, we took a moment to pause and express our gratitude for the exceptional teaching staff at St. Joseph's. While we celebrated as a school community on Monday, last Friday, October 27th, marked "World Teacher's Day." We are truly fortunate to have such an exceptional, skilled, and devoted group of educators at St. Joseph's. Our teaching staff consists of remarkable individuals who dedicate themselves day in and day out to create a safe and nurturing learning environment where every student can "achieve the fullness of life."
I have no doubt that you join us in expressing your appreciation to our teachers for their unwavering commitment to instill a profound "sense of pride and a sense of belonging" within our school community. In recognition of their hard work and to show that they are valued, our teachers were treated to a well-deserved 30-minute massage by a professional, followed by a shared lunch – a well-timed break to relax and unwind from their teaching duties. We would also like to extend our gratitude to the Parent Forum and Parent Community for contributing heartwarming messages and thoughtful prints that highlight the wonderful attributes of our dedicated teaching staff.
Have a lovel weekend,
Upcoming School Dates
- Monday 6th November - Term 4 Parent Forum Meeting (Week 5)
- Tuesday 7th November - McAuley Transition Day (Week 5)
- Thursday 9th November - Christmas Appeal Launch Day (Week 5)
- Friday 10th November - Remembrance Day (Week 5)
- Tuesday 28th November - Kindy Orientation Night & Dinner with Year 5 Families (Week 8)
- Tuesday 28th November - Year 5 Leadership Speeches (Week 8)
- Thursday 30th November - Step-Up Afternoon (Week 8)
- Friday 1st December - Last Day of Little Joeys (Week 8)
- Tuesday 5th December - School Christmas Concert (Week 9)
- Tuesday 12th December - Year 6 Graduation & End of Year Awards (Week 10)
- Wednesday 13th - Friday 15th December - End of Year Fun Days (Week 10)
Leader of Learning
Becoming better learners
As part of our ongoing Professional Learning this term, staff will engage in Learning Walks as a reflective tool to improve outcomes for all our students.
What is a Learning Walk?
A Learning Walk is a brief visit to the classroom using a research-based tool that allows the principal and teachers to reflect on what students are learning, whole-school agreed practices, student engagement and interaction with the content. Staff follow particular protocols and ask students five set questions about their learning.
Teachers use learning walks to give affirmative feedback and share ideas about the best practices of teaching and classroom environments. The purpose of these visits is to focus on the act of learning and what the student is doing to reflect and ultimately improve the quality of the learner's school experience, hence, the name…Learning Walks. At St Joseph's, we acknowledge that staff and students are all learners and through collaboration and support, we can all improve.
Mission & Values
Liturgical Calendar - All Saint and All Souls Day
In the Catholic tradition, November is traditionally a month of remembrance of the dead. The month begins with the Solemnity of All Saints on 1 November and the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls’ Day), on 2 November. Although these are no longer holy days of obligation in Australia, the Church has consistently encouraged prayers for the faithful departed and, during November, a list of the names of the dead is usually placed in the church so that the community can remember them in prayer. This week the children took part in a liturgy for All Saints Day, where they reflected on how they can live a really good life by imitating the Saints, as well as a class prayer for All Souls’ Day.
Let us take a moment to pray for all those who have died.
Hear our prayer and console us.
As we renew our faith in Your Son,
who You raised from the dead,
strengthen our hope that all our departed
brothers and sisters will share in His ressurection,
who lives and reigns with You,
and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.
Mercy in Action Award
Congratulations to this fortnight's Mercy in Action Award winner, Billy Opalniuk. Billy receives the award in recognition of displaying the Mercy Value of Courage, demonstrated by the way he is always an 'upstander'. When he recognises something is wrong, Billy speaks out and does something to make it right. Billy tells the truth, even when it is difficult or unpopular. Billy also demonstrates Courage in his learning by never giving up, and he amazed us all with his courage while performing in our school musical. Billy, your courage positively impacts our school community. Congratulations!
Parish School Mass and First Holy Communion
Our Term 4 Parish School Mass and First Holy Communion is this Sunday, 5th November, at St. Mary's Church, Maclean commencing at 8:30 am. We pray for Marlie, Caide, Jack and Tate as they prepare for their First Holy Communion. Sharing in the body and blood of the Lord at Mass for the first time is the final sacrament of initiation. When we celebrate the Sacrament of the Eucharist, as Christians, we gather together with our community to remember and give thanks for the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
All families and friends are warmly invited to attend this special Mass.
Dates to Save
- Week 5 (Sun 5th Nov) - First Holy Communion and Parish School Mass
- Week 5 (Friday 10th Nov) - Remembrance Day Liturgy
- Week 6 (Mon 13th Nov) - Yr 4 Accendere Retreat
- Week 10 (Tues 12th Dec) - End of Year Prize Giving
Our Principal's Award winners are:
Kindy: Lexie Want
Year 1: Albie Patten
Year 2: Max Anderson
Year 3: Isaak Bailey
Year 4: Sandon Chapman
Year 5: Millie Green
Year 6: Liam Dahlenberg
Our Class Award winners are:
Class News - Stage 1
Welcome to Stage 1 news. We are all excited as we move through Term 4, and our class has been buzzing with activity, learning, and fun. Here's a glimpse of what we've been up to:
- English: Our readers have been exploring the world of words and sentences. Whilst we are still mastering the Super Sentence (using capitals and full stops for every sentence), our learners have come ahead in leaps and bounds. They use nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, articles, conjunctions and even subordinating conjunctions to compose sentences! We've read captivating stories, created good-quality texts, and improved our reading fluency. The students are especially enjoying using the MultiLit e-library to practice reading.
- Maths: We are continuing lessons using the new K-2 Maths Syllabus, which places a strong emphasis on developing mathematical reasoning and problem-solving skills from an early age. Our young mathematicians have been mastering foundational concepts, including addition, subtraction, fractions and understanding number patterns. They are developing a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts and real-life applications. The hands-on activities and games promote play-based learning to build a strong math foundation.
- Christmas Concert: We are gearing up for our Christmas concert! The students are practising their dance and have been hard at work perfecting their moves. A separate note regarding costumes will be shared in the upcoming weeks.
- Well-being time: Each Friday, we gather together for Well-being time and last week, we embarked on a creative journey focusing on the art of making board games. Designing a game involves a great deal of problem-solving. Our learners have been making decisions about rules, gameplay, and strategy, which has enhanced their critical thinking skills. They have worked in pairs or groups, fostering teamwork, cooperation and collaboration.
Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to a fantastic end to the year with our wonderful students.
Pastroal Care - School Counsellor
How to manage end of year craziness without getting overwhelmed!!
Term 4 has arrived along with what seems to be a MILLION events to add to the already full calendar. So how can we support ourselves and our families to end the year well??
Below are a few tips to help create a smooth, calm and hopefully stress-free (or at least a bit less stressful) term 4:
BE KIND TO YOURSELF!!! I cannot stress this enough. You are doing an amazing job just getting those kids out the door. If you forget crazy sock day, if you can't make it to that 'thing' at school, if you pack library books on swimming day and swimming stuff on library day, practice saying these words:
"Oh well, no big deal."
"I've contributed plenty this year already"
"I give myself permission to drop the ball"
GUESS WHAT? When you role model being kind to yourself, quickly forgiving yourself and staying cool calm and collected when things go south, kids will catch that vibe and most likely follow suit.
“Imperfections are not inadequacies. They are a reminder that we are all in this together.” Brene Brown
Pastoral Care - School Chaplain
Catholic Mission Week - Crazy Socktober Day
There were some crazy socks worn to raise awareness and funds for Children in Timor-Leste.
Together we raised $140! This will help the Catholic Mission provide essential items to children in Timor-Leste in need.
Thank you everyone for your generous donations and getting crazy with your socks.
St Vincent De Paul's Christmas Appeal
Over the last year, the ongoing cost-of-living crisis has become increasingly dire. It's hitting families and other vulnerable members of our community incredibly hard.
Many are experiencing poverty and struggling to keep a roof over their heads. As the crisis deepens, so does their desperation.
Once again we will be supporting our community this Christmas with Christmas hampers.
We are kicking off our appeal on Thursday 9th November with a christmas themed mufti day and donation of a non-perishable food item.
Your gift this Christmas can help provide desperately needed food to our community.
More information will be on Compass.
World Teachers Day
World Teachers’ Day was celebrated at St Joey's on Monday 30th of October 2023.
It was a chance to celebrate teaching and for communities to thank teachers.
St Joseph’s showed appreciation to our teachers by presenting them with beautiful personal frames from The Parent Forum and class cards. Dale also organised for a massage therapist to come to the school to provide staff with massages and a generous lunch. I'm sure our Teachers felt very loved.
Mrs Juana Mead
As the end of the school year is quickly approaching, this means we are closing the library for borrowing at the end of week 8. This will enable students and classrooms to return all outstanding books so we can do a general stocktake and get ready for next year!
Now's the time to start having a look at home for any hidden library books that need returning.
The Term 4 Parent Forum Meeting had to be rescheduled and will now be held next Tuesday, 7th November at 5 pm in the school library.
If you cannot attend, please pass on any items you wish to be discussed to your Class Parent Rep.
Our meeting agenda will focus on:
- the adoption of a new Constitution for School Community Forums to ensure uniformity of governing documents in line with CSO requirements
- an initial review of our School Uniform policy (with further feedback at our T1 meeting next year)
- feedback from the T3 School Fete
All parents are welcome to attend.
Chairperson of the Parent Forum