Child Protection Week
We hope that you have found the resources that have been shared with you this week to be beneficial to both yourself and your children. Just because we are coming to the end of the week doesn’t mean that we forget about duty of care and responsibility we have towards children. Please keep these resources easily at hand so that you can refer back to them whenever you may need you.
Diocesan Perpetual Day of Remembrance
Bishop Bill has Decreed the Sunday on or before 15th September each year a Diocesan Feast in our Liturgical Calendar. On Tuesday 15th September we have been asked to appropriately acknowledge, in our school communities the Perpetual Day of Remembrance.
This day is to acknowledge and appropriately remember the victims and their wide circle of families and friends who have been impacted by the child sexual abuse in this diocese in the past.
As our CSO director, Gerard Mowbray, expresses, “I fully appreciate and understand that for many … you knew nothing of what was going on at the time and these events of the past raise feelings of sadness, sorrow and hurt for survivors and victims, their families and friends and for our church. Sadly, this story is not all in the past. As a community we remember events like the Holocaust, World Wars and even the Christchurch massacre to ensure our young people, and the not so young, learn from the horrors of history. It is through this Day of Remembrance that … we help create a church that is welcoming and safe for all by ‘shining the light of Christ’ on anything we do or say that might chip away at the wellbeing of others.”
Please do not hesitate to reach out to the diocesan Healing and Support Service team (49230636) or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or any of the many support agencies and groups in this Diocese to support you with any challenges you may be experiencing this Perpetual Day of Remembrance.
R U OK?
This Thursday was R U OK? Day. It’s our national day of action when we remind Australians that every day is the day to ask, “Are you OK?” if someone in your world is struggling with life’s ups and downs. If you didn’t get to ask someone on Thursday if they were ok, it’s not too late. Any day can be R U OK? day.
If you feel like something’s not quite the same with someone you know – there’s something going on in their life or you notice a change in what they’re saying or doing - trust that gut instinct and take the time to ask them “Are you OK?” If someone says they’re not OK, make time to listen, encourage action and check in. That conversation could change, or even save, their life.
The message for R U OK?Day 2020 is: 'THERE'S MORE TO SAY AFTER R U OK?'
2020 has been a challenging year for everyone and circumstances have made it even more important for us all to stay connected and, for those who are able, be willing to support those around us. We don’t have to be experts to keep the conversation going when someone says they’re not OK. By knowing what to say we can help someone feel supported and access appropriate help long before they’re in crisis, which can make a really positive difference to their life.
To learn what to say after “R U OK?” go to https://www.ruok.org.au/join-r-u-ok-day
If your children say they’re not ok when asked by someone, please do not hesitate to contact their class teacher or call to arrange to speak with our school counsellor. Please remember we are here, not just for your child’s academic development but most importantly for their wellbeing
A number of children have recently been bringing toys to school, particularly Ooshies. Due to Covid, we have a no toys policy at school this year. The Ooshies in particular are of concern as many children are trading them. Please ensure that your children are keeping their toys at home and talk to them as to why trading them, particularly in this climate, is not appropriate.
Return and Earn
We have recently begun participating in the Return and Earn Scheme. Our student Waste Committee has been instrumental in educating the students across the school in what items can be placed in the collection bag via a video they have put together.
Bottles, cans and cartons make up a large proportion of the litter on our streets, beaches and green spaces and for this reason we would like to be proactive in caring for our environment. At the same time it is an easy way for us to be financially rewarded for our environmental efforts. If you have any suitable containers for recycling we would be very grateful if you could send them in with your children or alternatively you can drive into the church car park behind the parish centre and you can deposit the containers into the big white bag through the fence. We will receive 10 cents for every container we take to the recycling depot or 7cents if we have them come to collect the bag. If any parent has a suitable vehicle to transport the bag once full to the depot at Carrington and would like to volunteer for this please contact the office. Otherwise we will go with the option to have the bag collected by them.
It is important to remember that all containers need to be empty, without straws, and not crushed. Thanks for your support with this project.
We will be changing over officially to summer uniforms on our return to school in Term 4.
If the weather is quite warm for the remainder of this term students may change over to the summer uniform as of this coming Wednesday 16th September. Please ensure that your children are wearing white or predominantly white trainers with their sports uniform and traditional black leather style school shoes with their summer uniform. A number of boys have reverted back to wearing black jogger style shoes and these are not part of the school uniform.
Hair needs to be tied back if it is shoulder length or longer and any hair that hangs across children’s eyes also needs to be pulled back and fastened. We have a number of children, particularly boys at the moment, with quite long fringes and this is impacting on their ability to easily see what’s on the board or on the screens and books in front of them.
All children are to be in full winter uniform for school photos on Tuesday 15th September. Girls need to wear stockings/tights and the boys must be wearing a tie.
As I mentioned in our last newsletter, all students were consulted in regards to the extra options we will be providing as part of the summer uniform. We would now like to give parents the same opportunity. Please see the attached document illustrating the options available to us and then share your preferences with us by using the uniform consultation form below.
Some points you might like to consider in making your decisions regarding the shorts are:
- Option 2 has a fitted waist all around whilst the other three options are all elasticised at the back.
- Option 3 and Option 4 have the most give in them for movement.
- Option 1 is the more casual of them all.
- All styles have pockets. Option 1 and Option 3 have one zippered pocket whilst Option 3 and Option 4 have two side pockets.
- Option 3 and Option 4 are pull/on whilst Option 1 has two side buttons and Option 2 has a zip and button at the front.
We ask that all responses are received by next Friday 18th September.
Remember that next Friday 18th September is a pupil free day. The staff will be on site participating in online professional development. If you require care for your children please contact OOSH.
This week in the canteen saw the start of us recognising Fruit and Vegetable month at St Joseph’s. Monday’s fruit salad and yoghurt selection was a hit and the chicken burrito bowl was an absolute favourite of both students and staff. Remember to take a look at QKR for the next few weeks’ fruit and veggie special selections and see if you can encourage your children to try them.
Child Protection Week
Child Protection Week has highlighted the importance of keeping our children safe. The 2020 theme, Putting Children First invites each of us to look at how we can prioritise children in our lives and communities. Putting children first means prioritising the safety 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.
At St Joseph’s Child Protection Week was commemorated in a number of ways. One way was by Years 4-6 participating in an eSafety Commissioner webinar titled, Be an eSafe kid: privacy and security. Students had the opportunity to:
- explore what privacy and personal information means
- understand what an online ‘stranger’ can be
- develop strategies and skills to secure accounts
- learn where to go for help and support
One of the very interesting discussion points in the webinar was around how many students in the class have been approached by a stranger online. In 6 Blue 25 out of the 27 students said that they had. This is a staggering amount. I thought to myself, what would the response be like if this happened face-to-face? The community would be in uproar. This statistic shows the ever-present need of regularly discussing ways to stay safe online with our children.
Here are a few reviews of the webinar from Year 6;
Seeing as this week is Child Protection Week, Years 4 to 6 sat down to watch a short video from the eSafety Commissioner about how to stay safe when online. While watching the video we often stopped to brainstorm what strategies we could use when faced with risks from using social media and other group websites. This webinar highlighted the fact that we cannot trust strangers or anyone that we do not know. We learnt that it is never the right thing to share personal information with anyone other than your close family. Overall, it was a great opportunity to further understand how to safely use the internet and figure out what you should and should not share.
The presentation was a good way to help children understand how to stay safe on the internet. The takeaways for myself were as follows:
- To not talk to anyone I don't know online
- Make sure that you don't share any personal information online
- To only interact with people you know when you're on the internet.
If you want to go to their website, please go to the link below:
I think that the eSafety Commissioner webinar was a great way to open children's eyes and help them to see what is okay to respond to on the internet and what isn't. The eSafety Commissioner taught me that I should have strong passwords that include capital letters, lower case letters, symbols, and numbers. I also learnt that if someone is talking to you on the internet and you don't know them, you should either not answer or leave the site. On the eSafety Commissioner website https://www.esafety.gov.au/ it states that things can happen that make children feel uncomfortable and vulnerable and that children should have the confidence and bravery to say ‘No’.
In this year's eSafety video, we learnt how friending a person behind a screen is as dangerous as walking away with a stranger in real life. Safety Greg held a webinar and gave us a series of questions, both literal and inferential, about the content he spoke about. Some of the questions included:
- How many people blindly friend people that they do not know online?
- What personal information do we not give over online?
- How do we respond and what strategies do we use when in difficult situations online?
- How do you know if something is wrong with an online stranger?
Three solutions we came up with to the question above were
- If inappropriate language is used.
- When the person asks for personal details.
- If the person becomes clingy.
The internet is can be a dangerous place and a person behind a screen is the last person you want to know your personal information.
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. Headspace
Student Council News
The Student Council has been very active around the school lately. We have shared our thoughts around girls being able to wear shorts as part of their uniform and we were very pleased to see the options available. We have also been involved in making the school eco-friendlier by promoting the Return and Earn recycling bin. We have been successful in getting soccer goals for the infants field and we have spoken to Sports Captains about making sure they are putting out enough sports equipment every day. The Student Council has also instigated the purchasing of new hand pumps to pump up the sporting balls and has worked with Mrs Powell in developing a trial roster for the playground.
By Luca Pasvolsky, Ivy Kiem and Hannah Francis
Movie Club is on again next week! The movie selected this time is Stuart Little. If you would like to come to Movie Club, please watch the film at home beforehand. We are once again looking forward to getting together to discuss different parts of the movie. Students from Kindergarten to Year 6 can join us. Please see the poster below for more details.
Term 3 Progress and Attitude Reports
As we are coming towards the end of Term 3, class teachers are beginning to fill out Progress and Attitude Reports. The Progress and Attitude Report aims to give parents an understanding of their child’s effort and application as well as their child’s interest and motivation across all Key Learning Areas.
Progress and Attitude Reports will be made available to parents on Friday, 25 September 2020. Please take the time to read over the report with your child and discuss their strengths and possibly areas of focus. If you would like to discuss a particular area of your child’s effort and application at school, please arrange an interview time with their class teacher early in Term 4.
See Me, Hear Me
Gracious God provide us with a listening heart that we see and hear the voice of each of our children.
We ask you God to strengthen and guide all in our Catholic communities. Grant us the ability and time to listen carefully when children come to us seeking help.
May our institutions and families respect, listen and do what is required to help all children feel safe.
Help us to recognise the hurt felt by those wounded initially by abuse then again through the failure to be heard. We stand in constant need of your healing and help.
Let your grace and love fall gently upon our children giving them the inner strength, peace, and resilience to seek out assistance when required.
We ask you God to provide each us with the wisdom to involve children in making institutions and communities safer.
- Sisters of Saint Joseph https://www.sosj.org.au/national-child-protection-week-2/
Perpetual Day of Remembrance
For several years our Diocese has marked the Sunday on or before 15 September as Remembrance Sunday, an undertaking that Bishop Bill gave in the context of Atonement: Lina’s Project in September 2017. The day holds before us the Church’s history of child sexual abuse and the reality of its continual unfolding in the lives of those directly and indirectly affected. On 15 August 2020 Bishop Bill issued a decree that a creates the Perpetual Day of Remembrance Sunday, as a Feast Day, be inscribed in the Diocesan Liturgical Calendar to be held on the Sunday on or prior to the 15 September each year. In 2020, this Feast will be celebrated on Sunday 13 September and will replace the Mass for the Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Each class will hold a special prayer and blessing next Tuesday 15th September to commemorate the Perpetual Day of Remembrance. St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School believes it is best for our students to participate in prayer and blessing designed to remind children that God is always with them and will always love us and is with us throughout everything we experience and encounter in our lives.
Our role as faithful followers of Jesus is to Shine the Light of Christ in our everyday actions towards one another. To be strong and peaceful people who identify when another is hurting and to help them, to sympathise with them and to support them.
We further display our understanding of our faith by loving and caring each other; by respecting each other and showing this in the kind and thoughtful words we say; by placing others and their needs ahead of our own; by praying for people who need us to remember them; by putting time aside to help another even when it seems too hard.
This prayer and blessing will not be explicit in naming the time of Child Sexual Abuse as the thing being commemorated. The focus of the Word is on the Mercy Of God, that tender compassion of our God for all his creatures, his concern for those who suffer.
Father’s Day Liturgy
Thank you to all those who were able to join us online on Zoom for our Father’s Day Liturgy last Friday 4th September. Even though it is very different to our typical school gathering, breakfast and celebration, we had a beautiful moment of prayer together. We thank our Kindergarten and Year 3 helpers in the liturgy and as special thank you to Lachlan, Iris, Eve and Peter who shared their personal reflections about their dad’s.
We hope all the father’s and father figures here, away or in heaven were thanked and remembered with love on Sunday and lovely celebrations were had with your families.
Please follow this link to the recording of the Father’s Day Liturgy using the password: Father’sDay2020
- Just a reminder to parents joining Zooms, please make sure your computer is on mute in the Zoom application and remember you can “pin to speaker view” to ensure you are not distracted by other cameras.
Catholic Mission - Socktober
An update from Olivia, Eden, and Ivy - Year 5 Mini Vinnies
Each year, Socktober fundraises money for a different country. This year, Socktober is fundraising money for children in Cambodia. During the 6-week period Socktober is celebrated, each week bases itself on important elements and issues that Cambodia is experiencing e.g. contaminated water and landmines. The Mini Vinnies created a video for Week 2 which was shared to all classes. This week, the theme is compassion. The video explains why we are focusing on Cambodia. It tells the story of a young boy named Dara who lost his right hand and vision to a landmine explosion. His family did not have enough money for the medical attention and education Dara needed. Catholic Missions reached out to Dara’s Family and provided Dara with the resources he needed. Now, he has a better life, and he is happy and healthy. Catholic Missions is helping a lot of people in need and with the donations, we receive from our Term 4 Crazy Sock Day, it will impact the lives of many people for the better.
Visit Socktober if you would like some more information.
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
Year 1 News
In health we have been learning about how we can be responsible for our health, safety and wellbeing.
*We can name 5 people who are our safety helpers.
*Know what phone number to call in an emergency.
*We are learning our address
White Balloon Day was a great reminder to keep all children safe
In Geography we have been discussing in groups what clothes you can wear and what activities you can do in different types of weather
Year 1 are learning to compose imaginative texts. We have been learning how to create a ‘Sizzling Start’ by starting at the moment of action or change. We have also used the five senses to create a ‘Sizzling Start’. Here is a sample of some sentences from the ‘Sizzling Starts’ we have created.
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0. Boom! Umbrellas turned inside out.
The children were running with excitement.
They ran frantically out the door and down the stairs to the road.
The wind impaled the town.
The wind was howling. The storm was rapidly making its way across the landscape.
For some reason the leaves were following the staircase. I kept following. I heard a sound. I looked up. There it was a garden with a farmer and all his farm animals.
As I was walking, I heard something creeping through the jungle.
I was walking towards the staircase. Suddenly, I stopped to listen the bluebirds singing.
When I stepped into the spooky mist, I saw flashes of lightening.
The Premier’s Reading Challenge for 2020 is now closed.
Congratulations to these students who recently completed the challenge: Otis Charnock, Zachary McGready, Milla Barr, Zara Dunleavy, Angus Green, Clancy Scanlon, Theodore Spak, Luca Wildschut and Eve Yuen. Great work everyone.
Well done to all of the St Joseph’s students who completed the challenge this year. The certificates will arrive sometime in November.
Book Week this year will be celebrated from Monday, 19th October (Week 2). Details of all the fun events to be held will be released soon!!!
In an attempt to reduce waste around the school and in the community, we now have a Return and Earn collection point at St Joseph’s. We hope that we can keep bottles and other suitable containers out of the red bins and earn some money in the process.
We invite families to contribute their plastic drink bottle, drink cans and poppers to the bin. They can be sent to school with your children or you can feed your bottles and cans through the fence and into the bin during out of school hours. The bin is located next to the Farquhar St/Parish gate.
The return and earn bin cannot have straws or glass bottles of any kind and you must check that your cans, bottle or whatever you bring in has the 10c refund sign on the label.
Daniel, Xavier on behalf of the Waste Committee
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.
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