Here we are at the end of Term 3 very pleased that we have for the first time this year, managed to accomplish a whole term of face to face teaching, and where we have been able to return to some of our regular activities that we were previously unable to do, due to COVID. This is certainly great cause for celebration. These accomplishments, however, bring with them a side effect, namely the tiredness of the students and the staff. You may have noticed over the last few weeks that your children have been less inclined to come to school as eagerly as normal, perhaps be a little more grizzly than usual or a little more lethargic. This is to be expected after such a challenging term and these behaviours should dissipate after a couple of weeks of rest and fresh air. I hope that your children, and our staff, take time to do the things that bring them joy over this break and return to school for a final term energised and renewed.
Why are we doing what we do?
Great work has been done throughout the course of this year in the area of implementing high yield strategies within all our classes leading to growth in the students’ achievements and, as you know, we have had a particular focus on writing. As part of our continued professional learning we have been reflecting on the power of knowing our ‘why’ - Why are we doing what we do?
It is important for all of us to know the why for this is when we are most motivated.
“When you know your ‘why’ then your ‘what’ has more impact, because you’re working towards your purpose.”
I would like to share with you a short story I came across that helped to illustrate this point of knowing our why. It particularly resonated with me as on the stairwell in the administration building that we all walk past several times a day, we have a very large embroidered banner with this similar story.
One day a man came across three bricklayers busy at work. The man asked the first bricklayer what he was doing. “I’m laying bricks,” the worker replied. He then asked the second bricklayer the same question. “I’m putting up a wall,” he said. The passerby then asked the question one more time, this time to the third bricklayer. The response: “I’m building a cathedral.”
As this story illustrates, three different workers can do the exact same task but for very different reasons. The first may have laboured exclusively for the paycheck. He saw his work as exactly that, a task that needed to be completed regardless of the outcome. When the bell rang, he was out the door. The second was likely motivated by a sense of completion and was proud that his bricklaying would result in the construction of a wall. Perhaps he would add a few extra minutes here and there in order to see the goal to completion. But the third was no doubt driven by a deep desire to fashion a religious structure that would enhance worship and bring glory to the divine. Every brick was a step towards that grandiose vision and aspiration. No doubt that such a person would do whatever was needed in order to see his glorious visualisation come to fruition.
When we know why we are doing something, as the third bricklayer did, great things are possible!
Next term Miss Sally Casey will teach Year 4 Gold whilst Ms McCalden is on leave. Miss Zoe Parish will continue in her role as class teacher of Year 5 Gold whilst Mr Nolan remains on leave. Mrs Belinda Pearson, our learning support teacher, has been seconded to St Dominic’s Centre for the term and her role will be filled by Mrs Sally Chaston along with one other Learning Support Teacher. Mrs Parkes will return to her role in 3G.
Return and Earn
Thank you for all the contributions that you have made so far to our Return and Earn initiative. We ask that you continue to collect the eligible bottles and cartons throughout the holidays however you will not be able to drop them off into the collection bag as it will be put away over the holidays. This has become necessary due to someone else feeling they have a greater need for the containers than we do!
You may notice if you are driving past the school in the holidays that there is some activity about. This is due to some projects that we are undertaking. By the end of the holidays we will have a new Colourbond fence between the playground and our neighbours; new guttering and leaf guard will have been installed on the hall and a number of walls in the upstairs administration area will be covered in pinboard material for various purposes such as data walls and displays. We look forward to seeing the completion of these projects on our return to school.
Once we return to school on Monday 12th October, all students are required to be in their summer uniform. The boys do not need to wear their shirts tucked in as their summer shirts are designed for leaving out. The girls’ socks need to be white ankle socks, not the short sport socks. Please make sure that your children's hair is tied back if it is shoulder length or longer and their fringe is not over their eyes preventing them from easily reading their books, screens or boards in the classroom.
We encourage regular polishing of the black school shoes in order for you to get more wear from the shoes as well as to present a neat, proud image of St Joseph’s out in our community.
Term 3 Progress and Attitude Reports
This afternoon you will receive your child’s Term 3 Progress and Attitude Reports. These progress reports aim 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. 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.
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.
The school, across K-6, has recently subscribed to Typing Tournament. By completing fun quests, this resource is used to teach students how to type using all 10 fingers. We know that typing is a life skill that students require, even at this early age. With NAPLAN moving online as well as other assessments, typing skills should not have to be a barrier to their level of achievement. St Joseph’s is a Bring Your Own Device school for students in Years 4-6 and typing skills are needed across all subject areas. This resource is used as a lesson break at school however, if the opportunity arises, we encourage students to complete more activities at home. This week students will be given a slip with their username and password to take home. Maybe during the holidays there will be some time for students to practise at home? For more information, click here.
Staff Professional Learning
Last Friday, staff participated in professional learning focused around the teaching of writing. Improving student writing has been a goal at St Joseph’s for 2 years now. This most recent professional learning was delivered by two teachers from New Zealand, Louise Dempsey and Sheena Cameron. These ladies are co-authors of a teacher resource book we have been using titled, The Writing Book.
Staff reflected afterwards and identified areas from their learning that affirmed their current practice. These included:
- Use of Learning Intentions and Success Criteria
- Importance of learning walls for students to reference
- Implementing the gradual release model – Modelled, Shared, Guided and Independent writing
- Reinforcing the importance of planning before beginning to write
The day also afforded staff with plenty of new learning. Teachers identified many strategies and ideas that they look forward to trialing in the classroom. These included:
- Implementing engaging writing ‘mini lessons’
- New sources for interesting resources
- Various self and peer editing strategies
- Giving specific and timely student feedback
- How to effectively wrap up a writing lesson
Overall, it was a fabulous day of learning for all and we all look forward to implementing these new strategies during future writing lessons.
|Skylar He||Luca Avery||Ava Williams|
|Angus Lane||Xavi Grace|
|Shloka Tummala||Abbie Hartnett|
|Theodore Spak||Peter Higgins|
|Emma Shrewsbury||Eva Cootes|
|Daisy Owens||Zara Dunleavy|
|Harry Hillard||Darcy Williams|
|Liam Clydesdale||Katarina Tutman|
|Daniel Stone||Angus Lane||Meera Sinha|
|Skylar He||Charlie Whittaker||Jack Simpson|
|Zara Dunleavy||Oliver Moran|
|Daisy Owens||Peter Higgins|
Season of Creation Prayer: Jubilee for the Earth
Heavenly Father, Creator God,
We thank and praise you for your good gift of creation. For your rivers, mountains, soils, skies and seas that sustain life, bring joy and heal.
We marvel at the diversity and wondrous complexity of life you have called by name. The beauty of relationship between all you have made, designed to live and flourish together.
We thank you Father God for calling us into relationship with you, commissioned to care for your good creation. To nurture, protect and join with all creation in singing your praise.
We ask your forgiveness Lord for our failure to love your creation as you do. For our complicit actions and complacent hearts that have chosen profit over protection. For our desire for comfort over concern and compassion for others. For our refusal to heed the warnings given to us over and over again. For our failure to acknowledge our total dependence on you Lord.
In a warming world, witness to floods, droughts, heat waves and fires we cry out Father God. We seek your holy wisdom of a Jubilee for the Earth. For rest and renewal of the relationship between us and all your creation. For your land to be healed, balance returned and the precious diversity of your creation sustained.
Lord, we ask you for courage to take up our cross and follow you. We pray that we would not be overcome by a spirit of despair. That we would not grow weary or feel overwhelmed by the work ahead. Instead Father God we ask you to awaken your church with a spirit of hope, a spirit of courage and a spirit of love. We pray you would embolden us to speak out for justice for our vulnerable neighbours, our children, future generations and all your creation.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-12)
We acknowledge Monique Hughes as the author/writer, sourced from Common Grace.
Season of Creation
The Season of Creation is a relatively recent addition to Catholic liturgical celebrations. In 2015, Pope Francis added the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation to the Catholic liturgical calendar to be celebrated on September 1st each year. In 2019, the Vatican asked Catholic communities and pastors everywhere to join ecumenical communities around the world in celebrating the Season of Creation from September 1st to October 4th.
The Season of Creation is a liturgical season dedicated to prayer, reflection, and celebration of God as Creator. It also celebrates and reflects prayerfully on the gifts of creation and the mission given us by God to care for creation and respond to its needs and crises today.
The theme of the 2020 Season of Creation, chosen by its international steering committee, is Jubilee for the Earth.
During the holiday we celebrate the feast day of St Francis of Assisi, patron saint of ecology and animals. It is with great excitement that the Franciscan communities announce that Pope Francis will sign his new encyclical on human fraternity in Assisi. Pope Francis is clearly inspired by Francis of Assisi who, in following Jesus, lived in mutual and loving service, expressed in a fulfilled and happy humanity. The encyclical is expected to echo many of the themes Francis has been discussing in his general audience talks on Catholic Social Teaching in light of the pandemic: human fraternity, the equal dignity of all people, the preferential option for the poor, the universal destination of goods and the obligation of solidarity. Care for the environment and the virtue of peacemaking also are expected to be part of the encyclical as we continue to celebrate the Season of Creation.
Over the last two weeks we have focused on the themes LOVE and ENLIGHTENMENT for Socktober.
Students had the opportunity to discuss Catholic Social Teachings:
- LOVE - God made us to be part of communities, families and countries, so all people can share and help each other. No one community should have dominance over another or interfere in their lives.
- ENLIGHTENMENT - God wants us to help people who are poor, who don’t have enough food, a safe place to live, or a community of which to be a part.
During these weeks, the students had the opportunity to reflect on readings from John 13:34 (Love one another as I have loved you), Isiah 58:6-7 and Luke 4:16-21. These readings called us to action to love and serve and reminded us of the Church’s responsibility for the poor, the vulnerable and all those in need.
If students would like to raise additional money to support Catholic Mission, they can register on the Socktober site www.socktober.org.au. As a school, we will be raising money for Catholic Mission through our Socktober Event on Wednesday 21st October (Week 2, Term 4). For a gold coin donation, students can wear their craziest odd socks to school with their school uniform. For an additional gold coin, they can enter the Socktober Kick Off penalty shootout event (one of their 5 shots will be with a homemade sock-ball). So, start practicing now! If you would like to have a go at making your own sock ball at home, please follow these links:
Fr Peter visits Kinder
This week Fr Peter was able to come and visit Kindergarten to discuss their Religion unit of work on the Church as the Family of God. He brought along his vestments (stole, alb and chasuble) and will his personal Eucharistic sacred vessels (paten, chalice, ciborium) and explained there use in the Mass. It was great for the children to have the opportunity to ask some insightful questions and development their connection to the Church and Fr Peter. Some quotes from the students about what they enjoyed:
Marley (KG)- "Father Peter showed us what he wears in the Church."
Grace H (KG)- "I liked it when he showed us the rope from his white shirt."
Max (KG)- "I liked it learning about the shirt and the paten. The paten had an anchor on it."
Finn (KB)- "I liked learning about the bread and the wine. It was really interesting."
Finley (KB)- "I liked learning about his shirt and the colour green for Ordinary Time."
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 2G News
Did you know that Year 2 gold are amazing learners? Do you know what rhetorical questions are? Year 2 are learning how literary devices can make writing interesting to read. Students use alliteration, onomatopoeia and dialogue to enhance their writing. Jumping straight into a point of action is a great way to hook the reader.
Below are some short pieces of writing for your information and enjoyment.
The wind started to swirl in circles. The rain started to come down fast. I could hear thunder and lightning. I felt anxious and nervous. I could taste fear and destruction in my throat. What will happen next? It is a super storm. - Jersey Firman
The storm started with a crash! Boom! Bang! It smelled like sea water. The house started to catch on fire. I could hear people screaming and shouting. My heart was pounding like crazy and I felt very scared. I could hear hail and heavy rain. - Jack Robertshaw
When the submarine crew reached the facility they saw the new submarine. The owner let the crew test drive it. When they were in the water something went wrong. Crash “Oh no!” cried the crew. - Hensley Vong
Splash, swish, swash and the yellow submarine sank into the ocean. There were rainbow coral, swishing seaweed and swimming fish. Emily and Coco were explorers and were so amazed at the beautiful sea world.Crash! - Dearbhla Corcoran
I felt very nervous. It was my first time bungee jumping. I thought the rope would break. I could see the cliffs and trees. I could hear myself screaming. The wind blew in my face. My legs were shaking. - Emiko Kirkovski
As I got ready to jump I could feel my hands getting sweaty. I felt paralysed, all I could think of was fright. Cliffs were surrounding me. That was it, I heard a scream then froze. - Orla McGready
As I got ready to jump a stroke of fear ran through my body. I could see the water below. I heard the wind whistling in my ears. My legs turned to jelly. I felt frightened. Bungee jumping was not for me! - Amelie Mansour
A Dangerous Mission in the Jungle
Splash! I felt something pulling me down. A crocodile was lurching towards me so I swam deeper under the water. I was on a mission to find a special type of gorilla but a pack of lions chased me into the soggy water. - Felix Pasvolsky
“Help me! I’m drowning inquick sand,” said Leo. “I will help you” said Mark. “RrrrI can’t hold on much longer” cried Leo. I have to let go and attach the rope to the car but I need to go. Thought Mark. - Hensley Vong
Pump! Pump! Pump! My heart was as fast as a cheetah. There were flames everywhere. I heard the power go wild. I saw the flames come higher and higher but suddenly it went low. Very quickly the lift started to fall! - Aria Ford
The strong rain pelted down flooding the city for six days. Huge branches rushed down the street. The damp musty smell was all I could smell. The smell of the damp musty water smelled like rotten eggs and a garbage can combined. I felt anxious, worried and terribly angry because the constant pouring rain destroyed everything. - Thomas Boyle
Ne nor ne nor I could hear sirens. I saw puddles of rain and lots of floods around the city. The rocks had been covered in water from the raging sea. I was feeling very cold. It had been raining for several weeks. This was a disaster! - Jack Jones
The Spooky Pumpkin
Flash! Flash! The eyes of the pumpkin were glowing. It was scary all alone with a pumpkin with glowing eyes. Did I make the wrong decision buying a magical pumpkin? I bought a pumpkin for my dinner but it refused to let me cut it. Now what would I eat for dinner when I am starving? - Adelaide Morton
Did you know whales can travel up to 2500km in a year?
Whales are mammals. They are huge creatures with strong fins that help them to swim in the water. They are grey, and black and white too. They are the biggest animals in the world.
Whales live in the oceans and eat sea life. Whales eat small fish, salmon, krill and herring. Whales feed in summer. They migrate. - Archie Doyle
Did you know that dingoes howl like a wolf? Dingoes are an omnivore. They are a mammal. Dingoes are an endangered species.
Appearance - A dingo has reddish-brown fur with white markings. Dingoes have a pointed muzzle. They have big canine teeth. A dingo has large upright ears.
Habitat - Dingoes live in woodlands and grasslands. Some dingoes live by the edges of forests. Dingos are also found in South West Asia.
Diet - Dingoes eat rabbits, wallabies, birds and lizards. A dingo eats fruit that it can find. They also eat berries.
Interesting facts - There are lots more interesting facts about dingoes. A dingo is a wild dog. - Audrey Johnson
How to skip
Goal: Explain how to skip a rope
Materials: skipping rope
- First you get a skipping rope.
- Next you hold it out in front of you and flip it behind.
- Then you throw it in front of you and start to jump.
- Now you repeat until you get too tired to go again.
Now you know how to skip!
The photos will show how busy Year 2 have been working, learning and having lots of fun.
Due to changes to the NSW PSSA Sporting Calendar, we will be trialling a Term 4 Swimming Carnival.
COVID-19 restrictions mean we are unable to conduct a carnival in the same way as previous years, where all students are encouraged to participate. We are, however, organising a restricted swimming carnival. This restricted carnival in Term 4 will be held specifically for children to compete in, to gain possible entry into the 2021 Regional Swimming Carnival. Therefore, we have attached a survey to see how many competitive swimmers would be interested in attending the carnival. At present, parents are not able to attend the carnival in any capacity.
As you complete the survey below, please keep in mind this is a competitive carnival, therefore your child must be able to confidently compete in the event/s they enter.
Please note; it is advised that students have prior experience for the following events: 100m Open Freestyle and the 200m Individual Medley.
The carnival is only for students who are turning 8 -12 years old next year, 2021. Kindergarten and Year 6 students will not be eligible to attend.
If your child/ren are competitive swimmers who wish to enter this event, please complete and submit the following form by Friday 16th October 2020.
Summer Sports Trials
Summer Pathway Sports Trials will take place in Term 4 on Friday 6th November. The sports on offer are Tennis and Basketball. Cricket and Softball have now become standalone trials that will take place in 2021.
These trials will be open to children in the current (2020) Year 4 and Year 5 classes who are currently competitive level players or have previous competitive level experience. They are held to select children who display outstanding talent in a particular sport.
Due to COVID regulations, parents will not be allowed to attend trials & will be asked to drop children at the venue without entering. Each of these trials will be subject to following strict COVID safe plans.
The number of children from each school that can attend the trials varies for each sport, generally though, each school may only send up to 3 or 4 talented and experienced children to trial. Therefore, any children sent must be actively playing and at a competitive level. Where selection is close, preference tends to be given to older children. In addition, children selected must be available to attend all future selection trials which will take place throughout Term 4 and continue into the 2021 school year.
If your child plays one of the summer sports on offer at the appropriate level and you would like them to be considered for selection, please collect a Summer Sports Trial nomination from the school office or download it from Compass. This nomination must be completed and returned to school before Wednesday 21st October. No late nominations will be accepted.
Book Week 2020 – Curious Creatures, Wild Minds
We get to celebrate all things books next term!
At St Joseph’s we are celebrating Book Week in Week 2 next term. We have lots of exciting things planned for the children including a book fair, an outside reading activity, games and quizzes, and of course a dress up day! It would not be book week without dressing up!
Unfortunately, due to the current conditions we are unable to have parents involved in this year's events, however I'm sure you will hear wonderful stories and we will share lots of images with you.
I will send out more information but thought the holidays might be a great time to think about costumes.
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