This year National Child Protection Week (September 6th – 12th) will celebrate its 30th year with the theme: Putting children first…
‘Putting children first’ was front of mind when the National Child Protection Week campaign was launched in 1990, with the aim of bringing abuse and neglect out of the shadows and putting child wellbeing on the national agenda.
Since then, the need to put children first has been recognised time and time again as an important pillar for boosting the wellbeing of all children in Australia. Under this year’s theme of ‘Putting children first’ all Australians are invited to look at how they can prioritise children in their lives and to engage in National Child Protection Week.
Putting children first means prioritising the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children. To grow up well children need to feel safe and loved, have a chance to play and explore, have a say in decisions that affect them, and access to essential things like food, shelter and healthcare.
For children to thrive we need to come together as a community and put children’s needs first during National Child Protection Week and every week. The COVID-19 pandemic means there is added pressure on families and communities so more than ever, we all need to play our part in protecting children.
We can all play a part by creating stronger, happier communities. This can be achieved by checking in and helping your neighbours and friends, being a good role model, supporting and being kind to parents rather than judging or being competitive and speaking up if you see something that is unsafe.
It is important that we listen to, and value, what children have to say. Where possible, include their voices in decision making and be advocates for their best interest.
The Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has an abiding commitment to promote the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children. The Office of Safeguarding (OoSG) is the structural expression of the Diocese’s commitment to demonstrate the highest standards of recognising and upholding the dignity and rights of all children.
Resources that you may find useful are:
Maitland- Newcastle Office of Safeguarding: https://officeofsafeguarding.org.au/
Resources for Parents: https://padlet.com/officeofsafeguardingmn/parents
Resources suitable for children Kinder – Year 2: https://padlet.com/OfficeofSafeguarding/K_2
Resources suitable for children Years 3 – 6: https://padlet.com/officeofsafeguardingmn/years3_6
Throughout Child Protection week, here at St Joseph’s, a variety of activities focusing on the safety of children will be undertaken across the grades, that are at age appropriate levels. A whole school event will be the recognition of “White Balloon day” which is a day to have fun with friends and talk about how important children are and what we can all do to help keep them safe. We ask that all children on Wednesday 9th September wear a white shirt with their sports uniform that day, instead of the regular yellow polo shirt.
It’s important that all children know that their body belongs to them and if they ever feel unsafe or unsure, about anything, they should run and tell an adult that they trust.
Bravehearts, Australia’s leading child protection organisation, who instigated the White Balloon Day promotes 3 rules for children to remember:
- We ALL have the right to feel safe with people!
- It’s OK to say “NO” if you feel unsafe or unsure.
- “Nothing is so yucky that you can’t tell someone about it.”
White Balloon Day is a day that helps us all to remember how important children are and how we all need to work together to keep them safe.
Staff Development Day
As we have previously shared with you, a school improvement focus that we have for this year is around the teaching and learning of writing. Over the course of this year all teachers have been engaged in further developing their skills in, and understanding of, how best to teach writing. We have managed to secure a place for all our teachers to be engaged in an online professional learning day focusing on the development of effective writing programs on Friday 18th September. This means that the day is a pupil free day and no home learning is expected.
If you require child care for this day please contact our St Nicholas’ OOSH. They can be contacted on: M: 0429 261 660 E: email@example.com
Schools in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle have a long tradition of school uniforms as an important dimension of school life. They provide a strong sense of identity and contribute to inclusiveness and equity in schools. Our Diocesan uniform policy requires:
- consultation with the school community
- health and safety considerations
- compliance with anti-discrimination legislation
- consideration is given to affordability, functionality and durability of uniform items
- provision of uniform options, including shorts and pants, in all uniform categories for all students, regardless of gender.
In considering these requirements, earlier this year we began the process of consulting with Lowes, our uniform supplier, to explore the options of shorts and trousers as an alternative to the summer and winter tunics. We have received, this week, four samples that we have on loan only until next Wednesday morning. In light of the restrictions on having parent meetings on site we will display the four options in the playground at pick up time on Monday 31st August and Tuesday 1st September. Feel free to take a look at the options which include shorts, skorts and culottes. Remember, however, that you need to follow the practice of wearing a mask whilst on the school grounds.
Lowes are currently preparing a document with the various options illustrated and we will then share this with you in order for you to choose your preferences. We will also be consulting with the children in order to ascertain their preferences.
NSW Health has updated its advice to schools across NSW/ACT to ensure that students and staff do not attend school if they are unwell. Further, and this is a clear elevation of protocols, students absent or sent home due to flu-like symptoms (such as coughing, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath) need to be tested. Evidence of a negative result should be provided prior to allowing students and staff to return to school. This measure is ensuring we maintain a stringent and measured approach across all of our schools to maintain the health of students and staff.
Gerard Mowbray. Director of Catholic Schools.
Thank you very much for the cards, flowers and expressions of sympathy for the loss of my mother. When someone we love leaves this world, we feel unmatched grief and your thoughts, prayers and kindness during this difficult time are very much appreciated. It is a comfort to me knowing that I am surrounded be such a loving and caring community.
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia (1924-1998)
Recently, Headspace Newcastle hosted a webinar for parents and carers around children’s safety online. I am sure we can all appreciate that this is a continually evolving landscape and it is difficult to keep up to date with new developments. From the webinar several resources were made available. In our upcoming newsletters we will be sharing these with our whole community. These resources are targeted for parents; however they may prompt open discussion as a family. Thank you to Tony Peterson for sharing the resources with us.
Further to this information, and in light of the upcoming Child Protection Week, the eSafety Commissioner has released information on a free live webinar titled; eSafety’s parent guide to popular apps - Taking a look at TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube
This live webinar (no cost), focuses on popular apps used by young people. It will include case studies, research, and targeted advice so you can support the young people in your life to have safe, enjoyable online experiences. These webinars are held on;
- Tuesday, 8th September (12:30pm-1:30pm)
- Wednesday, 9th September (7:30pm-8:30pm)
- Thursday, 10th September (12:30pm-1:30pm)
For more information please visit the eSafety Commissioner website here.
In class, on Monday 7th September, students in Years 4-6 will be participating in a webinar run by the eSafety Commissioner’s expert training team titled, Be an eSafe kid: privacy and security. This live event will empower students to manage their own online safety. Students will:
- explore what privacy and personal information means
- understanding what an online ‘stranger’ can be
- develop strategies and skills to secure accounts
- learn where to go for help and support
On Wednesday, August 26th we had our very first Movie Club session. The movie we discussed was, “A Monster in Paris” and it was great to see a group of students who had watched the movie come along. To begin with we had a list of questions which we took turns in asking. Our favourite questions were, “Who was your favourite character in the movie?” and “How would you change the ending of the movie?”. We all took turns answering the questions and it was great to hear other people’s thoughts. Listening to the ideas of the younger people in the group was good because it was widening our own perspective of the movie.
Our next Movie Club is in Week 9. It will be great to see even more people join us then! Please stay tuned for our announcement of what the next movie will be.
Luca Pasvolsky and Peter Higgins
National Science Week in 5 Blue
Zoom, zoom goes the Spiros around the underwater racetrack!
50 seconds to go….
How many laps can they do in 2 minutes?
Last week we had fun creating our own underwater racetracks with the theme of ‘Deep Blue’ for Science Week. We used the Spiros and raced them around on our tracks for 2 minutes. “I did 3 laps in 2 minutes! I had fun doing this mission with a mixed group of boys and girls” said Abby. “We had different underwater animals and an underwater theme to go with Science Week” added Abby.
Ocean Probes Mission
Have you ever wondered what is under the ocean’s surface? “Ocean probes assist us to see what is underwater” shared GG.
We had the chance to design our own ocean probes. Raphy said that she created an ocean probe that looks like a “blob fish”. She also added LED lighting for better images, a temperature checker and a data collector. Science Week is just getting better and better with really fun activities to do. We also learned about our beautiful ocean.
For Science Week we got to make comic strips that included ways to help convince tourists to not litter our beautiful beaches. According to Isaac “the activity was very fun and engaging because it was hands-on, and I like hands on activities!”
Some people also explored the effects that littering would have on the environment such as living things becoming endangered or even extinct.
We all enjoyed Science Week and hope that we can do it again next year!
Written by Mattias, Angus, Lillian and GG.
Father’s Day Liturgy Zoom
This year, our Father’s Day liturgy will be streamed via Zoom (invitation below) next Friday 4th September at 12 noon. We invite dads, grandfathers and families 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 a number of children K-6 to help us with this online liturgy.
Father's Day Liturgy Zoom at 12:00 noon.
Throughout September and October, Mini Vinnies and the Student Council will be leading us in our Socktober mission for Catholic Mission, so get ready to sock it to poverty in a very different way! Over the next few weeks, Mini Vinnies and the Student Council will be sharing some key messages about poverty and mission with the school community.
The Socktober Challenge supports Catholic Mission and invites children to engage with developing world issues through the language they understand best – play! Children are challenged to ‘Sock it to Poverty’ using the world game of soccer. As students work their way through the challenge, they will gain an understanding of the reality of vulnerable children around the world, kicking goals along the way to provide vital support for their brothers and sisters in India, Ethiopia, Thailand and Cambodia.
Mini Vinnies and the Student Council will be working closely together with Mrs Standing, Mrs Temple, Miss Colvin and Ms Powell to coordinate our Socktober Challenge this year, which will give students the opportunity to learn about other cultures and create their own soccer ball using recycled materials. Each week, Mini Vinnies will share some stories or information relating to Socktober.
Visit the link below if you would like some more information about Socktober.
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
During Science this term we have been learning that living things need food, air and water to stay alive and healthy. As such, we have identified ways to look after ourselves and pets. Miss Carney brought her dog Harvey in to visit Kindergarten last week so we could learn about ways to look after a pet dog.
Comments from some children in Kindergarten:
- Alexandra S – Harvey jumped up on two legs and he did tricks for us. Miss Carney gave him treats after each trick.
- Tomas – Harvey came to visit so we could learn about pets.
- Sophia S – Harvey licked my hand. He had a whole class picture with us.
- Florence – Harvey can do tricks like jump, shake and sit.
- Olivia – I liked it when we got to pat him. He felt really, really soft.
- Hunter – Miss Carney put a leash on Harvey, so he does not go away.
Some writing about Harvey: Billie, Matisse, Finn, William, Adelaide.
Practical guide for sport and physical activity
Updated 17 August 2020
Measures for the remainder of Term 3
All interschool sport and physical activities must be conducted within the local community or zone. Schools must not travel outside of their local community or zone.
Students participating in sport and physical activities, including recreational activities, where possible, are to remain within their relevant cohort (i.e. class, year group or stage) to limit the mixing of students between cohort groups.
The following now applies:
Round robins and gala days involving more than one school, including those organised by external providers, are not permitted.
Interschool and zone carnivals (swimming, cross country, athletics) are not permitted.
The following remains unchanged:
Contact sports, semi-contact and non-contact sports can continue within the school sport program.
Spectators, including parents and carers, are not permitted within school grounds or at sporting events held during school hours.
Sharing of sporting and physical activity equipment is permitted.
Fruit and Veg Month
This September, St Joseph’s will once again be participating In the NSW Health initiative, ‘Fruit & Veg Month’. This event aims to encourage increased fruit and vegetable consumption amongst NSW primary school children through engaging classroom, whole school and family based activities.
St Joseph’s students have participated in this initiative for several years. Some of the noted benefits of our previous participation have included:
- Fostering the students’ knowledge of how many serves of fruit and vegetables should be included in the diet each day.
- Promoting positive attitudes towards fruit and vegetables
- Encouraging a willingness and increased desire for students to eat more fruit and vegetables and try new foods.
During the month of September, our school canteen will be offering a variety of delicious fruit and veg options for students to try. Stay tuned for further details.
Premier’s Reading Challenge.
By the time you read this it may be too late!!
All Reading Records for the PRC must be completed by Friday, 28th August.
Congratulations to all these students who have recently completed the challenge:
Patrick Ryba, Aurelia Francis, Hannah Francis, Ellie Viviers, Zac Viviers, Audrey Owens, Heath Allan, Tom Carney, Zenon Griffiths, Mabel Hainsworth, Rex Kirkovski, Elliot Mole, Daisy Owens, Hallie Stewart, Josephine ryba, Tyler Officer, Eleanor McConkey, Eden Buxton, Alexandra Booth, George Beath, Harrison Cooper, Xavier Crosby, Skylar He, and Hamish Stanger. Great work!!
Overdue library books
A few students have recently received reminders about their overdue loans. Please assist your children to locate any ‘missing books’.
Issue 6 has been distributed to the children. Cash orders should be handed in at the library on Monday, 31st August. LOOP orders close at 10am on Tuesday, 1st September.
Don’t forget the ‘Gift’ option if you don’t want the books delivered to your child/ren.
School fee statements have now been issued to all families. These are the final statements for the year and are now due and payable.
The uniform shop is not open on a regular basis, however, should you require a certain item please send a note with your child and we will send the items home along with a note of how much you need to pay. This can be paid via QKR using the school fee payment option.
We are not taking clothing donations until further notice.
At present we only have small size hats available for sale at the school office, we are expecting a delivery of the larger sizes next week.
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