We are already at the end of Week 4 of term. I can not believe how quickly the term is passing! Students have been busy learning and as I walk around the school it is great to see such a range of activities taking place. From building terrariums in Year 4, debating in Year 6 to learning about living things and playing in the vet surgery in Kindergarten. St Joseph’s is bustling with engaged learners who are creative and collaborative.
As we have experienced, the situation regarding COVID-19 is continually fluctuating. Last week important information detailing our COVID-19 Evacuation Plan was communicated via Compass. We have attached it to this newsletter too. Please take the time to read through the document carefully. The safety and well-being of the students is of the highest priority. To this end it is important that we all continue to reinforce good hygiene practices. These include:
- Washing / sanitising hands regularly throughout the day.
- Covering coughs and sneezes.
- Disposing of used tissues in bins.
- Using appropriate distancing when possible.
- Using their own water bottle rather than drinking from the bubblers.
If your child is unwell, please continue to keep them home. If they require a COVID-19 test it is essential that they stay home while awaiting the result. We each have a responsibility in keeping ourselves, our families, and our community safe. It is also a timely reminder to be aware and keep to social distancing guidelines for those who come into the school grounds to pick their children up in the afternoon. Thank you for following the routine of exiting the school grounds via the back gates. We are finding that this is very effective in limiting close contact.
As the pandemic continues, we are noticing increased anxiety in some of our students. While we cannot completely isolate children from what is happening around the country and around the world, it is important that the information they are exposed to is accurate and balanced. The KidsHelpline website has a wonderful parent resource section that has valuable information. The COVID-19 link here may be particularly useful at this time.
Social Media advice from the eSafety Commissioner
The eSafety Commissioner website has some great resources found at https://www.esafety.gov.au/key-issues/esafety-guide. This website offers tips for parents about how to keep their children safe online. The site gives a summary for the most recent downloaded apps, such as Tik Tok, House Party and some of the older sites too such as Instagram. For anyone who needs advice or just more information about these of social media sites, we encourage you to visit this site above as it has some useful information.
The first Student Council meeting was held last week. Please read the reports below from a few of our new Student Council members:
- 2 Blue – Gabriel Farrow & Grace Waddell:
In our first Student Council meeting, we discussed what we think would be good suggestions to make the school a better place. The best suggestions then got called out and we all agreed to them. This week we changed the bell to a new song.
- 3 Gold – Ari Azzopardi-Johnson & Frankie Long:
At the start of each meeting we say a prayer to thank God we are in the Student Council and to help us do a good job. We discussed suggestions and the Year 6 leaders helped us pick the best two. One of our classes made it through. We felt very proud to represent our class and share 3 Gold’s suggestions.
- 5 Blue – Isaac Leonard & Ivy Jones:
During the first Student Council Meeting for Semester 2, we discussed suggestions, such as wearing our sport uniform more than once a week. Mrs Powell and the School Leadership Team were there to lead the meeting because some of us were very new to the experience of being a SC. We discussed which ideas were appropriate to go forward with and consider for the school's behalf. We enjoyed participating in this meeting and can’t wait to see what we can come up with during the rest of the year.
St Joseph’s Movie Club
Luca, a Year 6 representative member of the Student Council, has proposed we begin a Movie Club here at St Joseph’s. How exciting! Our Movie Club welcomes students in Kindergarten to Year 6. If students are interested in being involved, be prepared and watch the movie at home. Our club time will be spent discussing the features of the movie that we really enjoyed. Please see the attached poster which details the first movie that will be discussed.
Following UNSW ICAS requirements, ICAS Testing will be running of the next 3 weeks. Mrs Chaston will be helping to facilitate these sessions. The tests will be online and students in Years 4-6 will be using their BYO device and students in Year 3 will be using school devices.
Science: Tuesday 18th August (Week 5) at 9:15am
English: Tuesday 25th August (Week 6) at 9:15am
Mathematics: Tuesday 1st September (Week 7) at 9:15am
Spelling Bee: Tuesday 1st September (Week 7) at 11:30am
Location: Years 3 & 4 will use 4B Classroom and Years 5 & 6 will use the Lunch Club room.
All students doing the Spelling Bee need to bring their own headphones.
If for some reason a student is unable to attend their test, please see the office ASAP as make up times are limited.
National Science Week August 15-23
National Science Week is Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology. It provides an opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of Australian scientists’ to the world of knowledge. It also aims to encourage an interest in science pursuits among the general public, and to encourage younger people to become fascinated by the world we live in. This year the theme is ‘Deep Blue: innovation for the future of our oceans’. This theme aims to encourage younger people to become fascinated by our planet’s oceans, which cover two-thirds of its surface and help control its weather systems and the make-up of the atmosphere. The theme embraces the innovative technologies, capabilities and skills needed to achieve economic, environmental and social sustainability of our oceans. It features insights and inquiries into workable solutions that generate healthy oceans, healthy economies and healthy communities. It is an important theme for teachers and students to focus on. For more information, or for ideas of different activities that children can complete at home, please visit https://www.scienceweek.net.au/.
9th August International Day of the Indigenous Peoples
Walk As One Prayer
God Creator Spirit, walk with us and give us the strength to stand for life, in the face of destruction and greed of the Earth.
Teach us to be respectful and gracious for all that our land and waters provide.
Instill in us the spirit of unity with our Indigenous Sisters and Brothers from around the world. Lord, with your grace, help us to endure the challenges placed before us and our Earth. Let us take time to reflect on the spiritual connection to our lands and the fragility and beauty of Mother Earth.
With your love and spirit, let us walk together in unity, peace and harmony on these great lands.
God, strengthen our love and respect for each other and our connections to country and all creation.
We pray, as one global family, for a safe and just world for our children and our children’s children. Let us bring your love to all people.
Feast of the Assumption, Holy Day of Obligation
On Saturday 15th August we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption, Holy Day of Obligation. Today we held individual classroom liturgies to reflect on Mary’s life as a woman of faith and hope.
Loving God, you chose Mary to be the mother of your son, Jesus because of her faithful heart. May we be inspired by her trust in you and walk in her footsteps so that we may never forget that you are with us always. We ask this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
What is the Assumption?
Feast of St Mary of the Cross (8th August)
Classes celebrated the feast of St Mary of the Cross with classroom liturgies last Friday 7th August. Mary MacKillop and Julian Tension Woods founded the charism of the Sisiters of St Joseph (Josephites) that went on to form many school’s including our own in 1888.
Mary MacKillop is not only the first Australian to be recognised by the Church as a Saint, she is truly a very Australian saint. She characterises the spirit of the Australian mythology. She was a prodigious hard worker who put the needs of others before herself. She exhibited something of the larrikin spirit: constantly in dispute with authority but pressing on, regardless. She used the strengths of others but also didn’t tolerate those who were not genuine. Her commitment to the schooling of children from poor and rural communities established a model of Catholic education that continues to today. A Saint for and of Australia! (Greg Sunter: liturgyhelp.com).
Looking ahead to Father’s Day in September...
At school we would usually celebrate with a breakfast and beautiful liturgy celebrating all the dad’s and father figures in our lives. This year, as many things have changed, it will be a little different.
We are planning to do our Father’s Day liturgy live over Zoom at Midday Friday 4th September. We invite dad’s and family to join in at home or from your work desk over a break. This is a short opportunity to come together in community through prayer and to be present for some kind words of thankfulness for all you do as a father.
We will have some children at school to help us with this online liturgy.
Stay tuned for more details and the Zoom invitation link.
Find out all about attending Mass at the St Benedict’s Parish website https://www.newcastlecatholic.org.au/ or by viewing the latest edition of their bulletin https://www.newcastlecatholic.org.au/?p=4468
News from 5B
In Maths, we have been exploring perimeter and how to calculate it. We have been busy being architects in Year 5 Blue, by designing a floor plan for a house. Check out the examples below.
We’ve also been drawing our own shapes on the playground with chalk and measuring them. As stated by Raphy, perimeter in 10 words or less is the “boundary of a 2D shape.”
One of our favourite lessons about perimeter was when we had to go around the classroom and calculate the perimeter of a 2D shape of our choice. We would have to record the shape, the measurements of the object and work out its’ perimeter. “Maths has been so fun this term!” exclaimed Isaac.
Written by Archie, Patrick and Abi.
The Wonders of Interest Hour!
In English this term, Year 5 Blue have been working hard on an enrichment task called Interest Hour. Interest Hour is where students get to choose a topic that they are fascinated with and create an inquiry question relating to that topic. Students then research background information on their chosen topic and create something to demonstrate their understanding with the class. The objective of Interest Hour is to work on something you are passionate about and then share what you have learnt.
Last term, Year 5 Blue did an Interest Hour project based on something we were learning at school. However, this term, we could choose any topic that we are interested in. For example, this term for Interest Hour, Olivia is running a surf clinic and her key inquiry question is “Why does the ocean have waves?” Back in Term 2, Domenic showed us the steps to making a windmill to explore different forces at work.
“Interest Hour has given students a voice for their passion and interests to be heard to their peers and teachers” shared Ivy. “I think Interest Hour is a good way to explore our interests and passions!” stated Archie.
Written by Xavier, Olivia and Eva
Magical Musical Melody
Don’t you just love the sound of boom-whacker beats, catchy collaboration and extreme accomplishment? Boom whackers are colour-coded, light in weight, thin, plastic tubes and are tuned by the colour and the length of the tube.
In our most recent Music lesson, we separated into our own small groups to create our own song with differently coloured boom whackers and presented this to the class. According to Olivia, “Music is not like any other lesson. You don’t have to sit down and write, you get to instead, have fun and be yourself!”
Our interview with Miss Parker:
*Why did you choose boomwhackers to explore in Music this term?
I chose boomwhackers to allow students to not only learn about rhythm, but also pitch, that is, high and low notes. They are easy to play and can be used by students of all ages from Kindergarten to Year 6.
*Why do you enjoy music so much?
I have enjoyed music since I was very small. My father is a singer-songwriter, so I grew up in a very musical household and decided to follow this passion throughout my life.
*What is your area of passion with Music?
My musical area of passion is singing and playing guitar. Being able to make music is very special - you don’t need internet, your phone or, back in my school days, CDs and iPods. If you learn an instrument, or how to sing, you can make music wherever you go and share this music with family and friends.
Written by Ivy, Sienna and Marie
FLL has begun with the global launch on Tuesday 4th August. We have two full teams competing again this year, the Merewether Magic and the Merewether Masters comprised of students from Year 5 and Year 6. This 2020-2021 season’s theme is RePlay, where competitors are asked to work together to identify and develop an innovative solution for getting people to be more active. The solution must involve technology this year. The teams will also be working on completing missions on the Mission Board during the competition using their team designed EV3 robot. The two teams have been working together this week to “build” the Mission Board game. Please see the photos of the teams working hard already.
Premier's Reading Challenge
2 weeks to go until the 2020 challenge is closed. Complete your entries NOW!!!
Congratulations to these students who have answered the challenge:
Aria Ford, Charlie Whittaker, Myfanwy McMahon, Ava Williams, Beatrice Ponte, Max Whittaker, Ivy Kiem, Grace Hickey, Lila Kiem, Evan Tissera, Ella Wilson, Claudia Stapleton, Max Stapleton, Zara Bailey and Eleanor Phillips.
Great effort everyone.
Don’t forget to find your ‘star’ in the challenge reading stars in the library.
Keep on reading!
School fee statements have now been issued to all families. These are the final statements for the year and are now due and payable.
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