World Children’s Day (also known as Universal Children’s Day or International Children’s Day) is celebrated today, 20th November and is UNICEF’s global day of action for children, by children.
It’s a fun day with a serious message, with 20 November marking the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959, and the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The most widely ratified international human rights treaty in history, the Convention sets out the rights of children, such as the right to healthcare, education, clean water, protection from violence – and the right to have their say in decisions that affect them.
This year has given us time to pause and think about the lives we would like to lead in the future, and to reimagine a better world for children everywhere.
This World Children’s Day, UNICEF Australia invited children and young people to illustrate the change they would like to see and to draw, paint, sketch, colour or build their better world. Through art they were asked to reimagine things such as:
- a greener and more sustainable world.⠀
- the future of wellbeing and mental health. ⠀
- the future of education and work. ⠀
- a future without discrimination. ⠀
- children’s rights that are important to them.
Why not take some time this weekend to view these art works with your children at https://worldchildrensday.unicef.org.au/ and then encourage your children to have their say and share with you what ‘reimaginings’ they have for a better world.
End of Year Arrangements and Events
As mentioned in our last newsletter we are at the stage of the year where we are working out classes for next year and putting in place plans for 2021. We are unable to share the allocation of teachers to classes for next year, at this point, however I would like to share with you an update so far on our staffing arrangements:
- Anne Dougherty, who took Long Service Leave for this year has officially retired.
- Paul Nolan will also be retiring at the end of this year.
- Lauretta Tonkin, will be leaving us, as her position at St Peter’s Stockton, where she currently also works, has increased.
- Emma Cook, will be leaving us as she is relocating to Dubbo.
- Grace Parker will not continue in her Music role next year as she plans to pursue other things in the area of music.
As a leadership team we are currently undergoing the recruitment and appointment of staff and I hope to be able share with you in our next newsletter who will be our new staff members.
We will thank and farewell all these staff members at whole school assemblies over various days dependent on their work schedules.
The farewell for Anne and Paul, who have contributed so much to the lives of so many St Joseph’s students and their families, will coincide with our end of year whole school Thanksgiving Liturgy. This will take place in Week 9 on Tuesday 8th December. Due to COVID regulations we are very sorry that we are unable to invite parents to this event. If you wish to leave a card or letter for Paul or Anne please feel free to do so by Monday 7th December and we will ensure that these are presented to them on the day.
Also in Week 9 we have:
- our competitors only Swimming Carnival on Wednesday 9th December;
- Motiv8, a sports fun day for Year 6 students, on Thursday 10th December, and
- on Friday 11th December we will hold a leaving liturgy and graduation and awards ceremony for our Year 6 students in the school hall. This will be live streamed for the parents, as once again we do not have the space to invite guests and to be compliant with COVID regulations.
In Week 10 we have our ‘Step Up’ afternoon on Monday 14th December from 2.05pm to 2.55pm. This is where the children will meet their teachers and classmates for 2021.
On Wednesday 16th December, the final day for all students we will farewell our Year 6 students as a whole school community via a live Zoom assembly from Year 6 classrooms as well as a modified, COVID safe ‘clap out’ ceremony.
We are so very grateful that there has been some changes to the COVID regulations and this has meant that we can acknowledge the service of staff members, celebrate the end of year, give thanks for the year that has been and provide a rite of passage for our Year 6 students as they leave us and move on to high school. We are disappointed not to be able to have parents involved but we all understand the reasons for this and are very much looking forward to when these conditions change, and we can once again celebrate as a whole community.
Thank you to all those who offered their thoughts around the option we wish to offer the girls for their summer uniform. After consulting with the students, parents and staff the decision has been made to go with a white shirt with our crest on the pocket and a blue and yellow binding on the sleeves; along with the navy tailored shorts with front pleat and elasticised back with our school initials embroidered in yellow on the front. Lowes are hoping that these will all be in stock in February. Please click here to view and order school uniforms. The current price list is attached for you which includes the new options for girls. No images are available on their website as yet. We will continue to keep you updated as we find out any further details.
Calling all Rock n’ Rollers!! Learn guitar at St Joseph’s, Merewether in 2021.
We are considering offering Guitar lessons next year and would like to ascertain how much interest there is in providing this extra-curricular activity to the students. It would be open to Kinder to Year 6 students and they will learn everything from Ed Sheeran, to Post Malone, to Imagine Dragons, to Tones and I, to AC/DC to Morgan Evans; all whilst learning acoustic and electric guitar skills; learning to perform as part of a group and enjoying the excitement and experience of being a real musician with skills that will last a lifetime. All lessons would be conducted in groups, based on age and skill level, but also with a big focus on jamming with their peers. If you are interested in your child being involved, please complete the Guitar Lesson Expression of Interest form here by next Friday 27th November.
Staff Release from Face-to-Face teaching
As part of the Teacher’s Enterprise Agreement teaching staff are entitled to release time off class. Allocation of time is dependent on the work load of the staff member eg. If they are full-time or part-time. Teachers use this time to plan lessons, assess learning, organise extra-curricular activities etc. Here at St Joseph’s this release time is divided in two ways;
- Weekly Library and Music lessons
- Full days off class are accrued
Usually, teachers choose to take their full day release time around semester reporting time. This gives us a chance to finish up marking assessments and to write student reports. Thank you for appreciating that at this time of the year your children may have an increased number of casual staff teaching them. An effort is always made to try and ensure the same casual teacher is on the same class, however this is not always possible. Please be assured that regular class teachers always plan the learning for the day and routines are kept consistent.
St Pius X Orientation
With the easing of COVID restrictions we have recently found out that St Pius X will be holding a Year 7 Orientation morning on Monday, 23rd November. This will be an important step for the students as they transition to high school. This morning will be for St Joseph’s students only.
Students who are attending St Pius X will be travelling to/from the school by bus. We will be leaving school at 9:15am and will return by 11:45am. Mrs Powell will be accompanying the students on the orientation. Students who are not attending St Pius X next year will be remaining at school with Miss Cook.
We ask students wear their full summer sports uniform. The only item students need to bring with them is a drink bottle filled with water.
Please note that students attending this orientation will not be at school for our normal lunch time, therefore they will not be able to have a lunch order that day.
As with our procedures these days, if your child is displaying any signs of sickness, we ask that they remain at home.
Below is a brief outline of schedule
9.30 am – 10.00 am
Power Point Presentation about transitioning to St Pius X.
House Coordinator leading with two Year 9 leaders
10.00 am – 10.40 am
Tour of the school visiting main office, uniform shop, SMC, library, gym, and classrooms not occupied by high school students.
10.45 am – 11.30 am
Faith and Fitness
Organised by Kerrie Sellers and Helene O’Neill. It will involve Year 9 leaders.
Location: Bus shelter
Newcastle Permanent Building Society Mathematics Test
Each year some students in Year 4, and those in Years 5 and 6, participate in the Newcastle Permanent Mathematics Competition. This is an opportunity to test the students’ numeracy and problem-solving skills in one of Australia’s longest running annual mathematics competitions. The competition is now in its 39th year. We congratulate all students for their participation and acknowledge the students below who received a High Distinction.
- Skylar He
- Daniel Stone
- Angus Lane
Certificates will be presented to students once they arrive at school.
2021 Student Leadership Process
The 2021 Student Leadership Process is going to begin next week. This process begins with students in Year 5 students reflecting on their own leadership qualities and discerning whether or not to nominate themselves for the Student Leadership Team and/or for the role of a Sports Captain. At St Joseph’s we have a very clear and transparent student leadership process. It involves voting from students and staff at a number of different stages. Detailed information regarding the process will be sent home with Year 5 students on Monday, 23rd November. We are confident that all our Year 5 students will be fabulous leaders next year.
Stage 3 Cricket Gala Day
Last Friday, students in Year 6 enjoyed participating in the Stage 3 Cricket Gala Day. We were fortunate to have such excellent weather. Students were placed in teams and versed others from Catholic schools close by. It was great to see students participating with enthusiasm and displaying great sportsmanship. Thank you to the staff who attended. Well done to Year 6.
Green Screen Film Festival
Two of our Year 6 students have entered the Green Screen Film Festival. Luca Pasvolsky wrote and directed the 3 minute film (a comedy) called Hairfoo Memorphis. This film is in competition for the People’s Choice Awards. The film stars Luca and Kyle Burr.
We encourage all families to watch the film and proceed through to voting. The film can be viewed here.
Voting is at the bottom of the page and if you click the poster of Hairfoo Memorphis, the film will play.
Luca and Kyle we are very proud of you. Good luck!
You are the King of Glory,
You are the Lord of Lords, and King of Kings.
Lord, we pray for your Kingdom to come here now,
bringing a kingdom of justice, righteousness, hope, love,
peace, mercy and grace for all.
Lord, we ask that you rule in our hearts,
lead in this world and govern over your kingdom.
Feast of Christ the King
The Church is celebrating the Feast of Christ the King this coming Sunday, which is the last Sunday of Ordinary Time before we move into Advent. The feast day is a powerful reminder of how Jesus envisaged the Kingdom of God. For Jesus, the Kingdom was not a rule of power and status but a rule of justice and peace for even the lowliest. It is an apt conclusion to the liturgical year. We now look to prepare and wait in the Season of Advent, the beginning of the new church year.
Remembrance Day Liturgy
St Joseph’s gathered together last week to commemorate Remembrance Day. We gathered as one community united in faith to pray for all those who have been affected by war. The students reflected on the sacrifice that so many Australian men and women have made and continue to make so that others may live in freedom. Thank you to the Year 4 students and teachers who led our liturgy.
Year 6 Retreat
Year 6 will be attending Retreat next Tuesday 24th November and Wednesday 25th November at Riverwood Downs. This is a very special time where students reflect on their time here at St Joseph’s and begin to look forward towards their transition to high school. Please keep the students and teachers in your prayers.
Mini Vinnies Christmas Appeal
This year, Christmas will be like no other. After the year that no one saw coming, many families are without jobs and under increased financial stress, some for the first time in their lives. With more families facing uncertainty, no one knows what to expect for Christmas Day. Family feasts, presents and festive gatherings with loved ones will all look incredibly different for many people this year as we celebrate Christmas. But Vinnies is committed to making Christmas a time to renew hope. Vinnies continues to provide shelter, food, clothing, financial support, friendship and care for tens of thousands of people in NSW, but the need is still great, and we need YOUR help. Together, we can renew hope this Christmas. For the Mini Vinnies Christmas Appeal, we will be collecting donations of non-perishable food items and gift cards. We are so thankful for your continued and unfailing generous support to Mini Vinnies in their work to support people in our local community.
We have allocated suggestions for each grade. Please place in collection baskets in the classroom. Please donate gift cards directly to the office. Closing date for all donations is Wednesday 2nd December.
Kindergarten - cereal and pancake mix
Year 1 - muesli bars and savory biscuits
Year 2 - dried fruit and Christmas pudding
Year 3 - tea, coffee milo and long-life milk
Year 4 - vegemite and jams
Year 5 - couscous, pasta and pasta sauce
Year 6 - lollies, candy canes, Christmas cakes and fruit mince pies
Staff Spirituality Day
On Monday 7th December (Week 9), we will be having a Pupil Free Day as the staff will be having their annual Staff Faith Formation and Spirituality Day. This means that students do not attend school this day and nor are they required to undertake home learning. After disruptions to this year, we are pleased that we have been able to still organise this important day for staff. We apologise for the short notice, however, we have only just received advice that we are able to proceed with this important day for staff.
As part of our school three-year plan for faith formation, the day will focus on developing understanding our school’s Josephite Charism in greater depth. We will be looking at the work of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, her letters and how we can more greatly incorporate her ministry into the school life of St Joseph’s.
Please contact our St Nicholas’ OOSH to provide you with childcare if required for this day. They can be contacted on: M: 0429 261 660 E: email@example.com
- Advent Liturgies led by Kindergarten – Friday Week 8 & 9
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
What an unusual year 2020 has been. One of the positive things that we have learned from this year has been the need to be aware of our own personal hygiene. The events of this year have shown us the importance of regular hand washing, for our own safety and the safety of those around us.
We have shared some wonderful novels this year and loved reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone last term. Even though many of us had already read the story it was great to hear it again and complete some activities associated with the book. Here are some photos from our Harry Potter dress up day.
This term we have been reading Misery Guts by the very entertaining Australian author Morris Gleitzman. He has written many novels for children and listening to this story has inspired many of us to look at some of his other works.
This term we have been reading Misery Guts by Morris Gleitzman. It's about a boy called Keith and he tries to cheer up his parents because they are very miserable. Keith comes up with 6 different plans to cheer up his Mum and Dad but most of them fail, one of his plans even ended up burning down the fish n chip shop and his house (his house is attached to the shop). It's really exciting and enjoyable. - Sofia Halverson
In class we are reading Misery Guts by Morris Gleitzman. Misery guts is about a boy that has sad parents and tries to make them happy again, but all the plans don't work. The boy burns down this house on accident and then is on the way to Australia. - Isabelle Ward
We have been reading Misery Guts in class. It is written by Morris Gleitzman. Keith is the main character who comes up with lots of plans to make his mum and dad happy. They are all good plans but don’t work out. He tries to convince his parents to move to Australia because he thinks it’s a happy tropical place but doesn’t realise it’s not driving distance. The last bit we have read is that his parents finally agree to go to Australia. - Ella Wilson
We have been learning about the Beatitudes in Religion. The Beatitudes have been around for 2000 years now and are a great guide for how we should live our lives. Ezra Frechis a boy who lost his leg and arm when he was born and is a good example of the Beatitudes because he still plays sport and believes in himself. - Rosa Leonard
We have learnt about the Beatitudes and that we can’t buy happiness. We investigated the story of a boy called Ezra Frech who has only one leg, and one finger and a toe on his hand. He keeps living his life. We can look up to this person as an inspiration. Even if things don’t go our way, we should be grateful for everything we have. - Ella Wilson
The Beatitudes is a great way to learn how to be a good person. They have 4 main values: mercy, forgiveness, justice and peace. The word Beatitude means Be Attitude and our attitude to things. Ezra Frech is a young boy with only one leg and one arm, he thinks about the things he has, not the things he wants. The Beatitudes is a guide on how to live our lives. - Bailey(London) Thurnham and Sofia Halverson
Caption: Collecting food for the Winter Appeal was a great example of The Beatitudes in real life.
Tae Kwon Do
In Tae Kwon Do, you will learn how to protect yourself from the dangers in the world. Tae Kwon Do teaches a variety of kicks like the front kick, the round house kick and finally the side kick. You will learn self-defense in Tae Kwon Do. Self-defense is when you learn to protect yourself if you are in danger. If someone grabs hold of you react immediately. You learn self-defense for a reason so you can have a safe and happy life. - Libby Dinneen and Addison Tutton
Tae Kwon Do is so much fun. Every Thursday we learn to punch, kick and self-defend so all of us stay safe. - London Thurnham
This term Tae Kwon Do has been so much fun! In Tae Kwon Do we have been learning how to do sidekicks, front kicks, punch and how to get out of sticky situations. At Tae Kwon Do we have an awesome teacher. We love Tae Kwon Do here. My favourite part of Tae Kwon Do is the punching bags that we get to punch and kick but the worst thing about the punching bags is that you have to hold the punching bag and it can hurt when someone kicks the bag too much and you fall over - James Shrewsbury
This term in Tae Kwon Do we have been learning side kick, front kick, and how to defend and attack. We've been learning how to get out of sticky situations like if someone steals from you or attacks you. We learnt that if you put force against a thumb its way easier than to put force against 4 fingers. Next week we are going to learn how to throw someone over your shoulder. I think it's going to be really fun!! Tae Kwon Do has been really fun. I think I'm really good at Tae Kwon Do. Alex Seysener
Tae Kwon Do is a type of fighting or self-defense. Tae Kwon Do teaches you kicks, punches, strategies and maybe one day it will save your life. Tae Kwon Do is so fun (if it's not a dangerous situation) because you’re learning and doing physical things. - George Morgan
In Tai Kwon Do we have learnt the front kick, round house kick and the side kick. We have also learnt how to protect our self in a life and death situation. One way is to pull your arm up if someone grabs your arm. Another is to poke them in the eye with two fingers. The last way is to kick them in the stomach. - Xavier Minto
This term we have been learning Tae Kwon Do for sport. Some kicks we have been learning are the side kick, the turn kick and the front kick. We also have been learning how to punch on punching bags. My favourite thing to do is the kicking part. - Rosa Leonard
In Tae Kwon Do we've been learning self-defense. We've also been learning different types of kicks. One of the kicks is a round house kicking. Another kick is the straight kick. - Ollie Hatherly
At Tae Kwon Do we have been learning self-defense like round house kicks, front kicks, side kicks and punches. It is very important to learn Tae Kwon Do so if something bad happened to you, you can defend yourself and others. It has been really fun learning these self-defense moves. - Andy Campbell and Isabelle Gill
Tae Kwon Do is fun. We even got to punch proper punching bags. We learned a lot of tricks like the front snap kick the round house and the front punch. With the Tae Kwon Do we are now a lot more flexible with all the stretching we have done. - Harrison Coppola
On Thursday we do Tae Kwon Do. We had learned about bending our legs and kicks to the side. - Misheel Chandmani and Ella Wilson
We have the best music teacher ever. Her name is Miss Parker. She has taught us many things about beat and rhythm. She is the best music teacher in the whole universe. - Isabelle Ward
In music we've been learning different types of music. An example of music is music in movies where each scene has its own rhythm depending on what is happening. - Ollie Hatherly
This term in music we have learnt to play music on different instruments and a lot more. It has been fun playing music. - Alexandria Mavros
Music is lots of fun; we have learned about the orchestra and bands. Music is a sound that comes from instruments like guitars, saxophones, violins, harps and more. We have had a lot of fun using the boom whackers and learning to play music. Music has evolved over time to use more beats and instruments. We have looked at songs from the 1980 all the way to 2017. - George Morgan and Harrison Coppola
Santa's Magic Boots
We’ve been enjoying Santa's magic boots so much. We’ve been having lots of fun practicing for Santa's magic boots. It is great doing our parts in the play. We are really excited to show the school and parents what we are capable of. - Patrick Ryba and Max Stapleton
I am a working elf and we make the toys for all the planets girls and boys. Working on the play is really fun and I enjoy it lots and I know all my lines and actions. -London Thurnham
This term we are doing Santa’s magic boots. I am a narrator and a working elf. It is really fun to watch lots of other people perform their act as well as doing my own. - Isabelle Ward
Santa's magic boots has been very successful since the first day I saw it but now I'm the one who's acting in the play I am an elf and a narrator. - Xanda Whetham
We have been practicing for Santa's magic boots the play. We have to do lots of rehearsal and its super fun. We have a group of people in the scenes so when Mr Watson is practicing with another scene on stage we would go off and rehearse for our scene. - Ella Wilson and Misheel Chandmani
Santa’s magic boots is a play that involves teamwork and dedication. We all have a role to play and we all have to give it our best. Santa’s magic boots is about when Santa’s magic boots get stolen and we all must find them. In a play everyone gets a part in the play and even though we might not get the one that we wanted we all have to work with it. - Libby Dinneen
We have been working on Santa's magic boots. There are a variety of parts to learn. The teacher chose our roles and we need to learn our lines for our part. I'm a working elf and my lines are very easy. - Lochlan Hickey
Hi my name is Jonathon and my role is an executive elf in this play called Santa's magic boots. I'm one on the 3 executives. I’m an important elf in the play. I am meant to solve problems. I speak alone and the other 2 executives speak alone as well. - Jonathan Higgins
I am a working elf in the play and my job is to build, hammer and sew all the presents that Santa will deliver on Christmas Eve. Our class has been preparing since Week 2. It is very hard practicing for the play. - Cooper Hosking
Rehearsing for the Santa's magic boots play has been challenging but also lots of fun. We have been very excited to put on this play in these difficult times. Mr. Watson and Mrs. Charnock have been directing us very well "they are the best!" We are very proud to be showing our acting skills in front of the school especially the Kindergartens who have never seen this play before. Almost everyone knows their lines off by heart now and as you know it is getting quite close to the play and it's very exciting for us. For those who have been in the play in the past that you remember all the exciting memories that you had when you were doing it. We hope you have a Merry Christmas! - Indiana McFadden and Ava Bailey
We've been working really hard and practising a lot for the play. I am Mrs Claus 2 and I am going to do the curtains in Scene 1, 2 and maybe 3. I know all the others are working really hard too and are going to do their best in the play. - Rosa Leonard
Preparing for Santa’s Magic Boots has been the best part of year 3 so far. We have been practicing since Week 2 this term. We have nailed our lines and are so close to performing the play. We are so excited we can hardly sleep. Our class has had so much fun practising we can't stop talking about it. COVID has got in the way of everyone's day to day life but our class will bring everything back to normal with our play! - Hugh Stathis and Xavier Minto
Busy time rehearsing for our play!
As per our previous Compass and newsletter correspondence, we wish to remind you that due to changes to the NSW PSSA Sporting Calendar, we will be undertaking a Term 4 Swimming Carnival in the coming weeks.
COVID-19 restrictions mean we are unable to conduct a carnival in the same way as previous events, where all students are encouraged to participate. For this reason we have organised a restricted swimming carnival.
This restricted carnival will be held will be held at Lambton Pool on Wednesday 9th December and is specifically for children to compete in, to gain possible entry into the February 2021 Regional Swimming Carnival.
Thank you to all of the parents who have completed the survey and registered their child/ren for this upcoming event. Registrations for this event have now closed.
Students participating in this event will receive further event information early next week.
Those student not participating in this event, will come to school as normal.
Unfortunately, we must also remind you that presently, current COVID guidelines from the Catholic Schools Office state that parents are not able to attend the carnival as spectators.
Swimming Ribbon Presentations
Due to COVID-19, we faced many interruptions that have impacted many scheduled school events.
One such event is the ribbon presentation for the Swimming Carnival held in February 2020. While this now seems a distant memory, it is important that we recognise those students for their achievements and celebrate the winning colour house for this event.
This ribbon presentation will be held on Thursday 3rd December.
As we are also undertaking a modified carnival this term for qualification for the 2021 Regional Swimming Carnival, as outlined above, the ribbon presentation for this event will be held on Thursday 10th December.
Unfortunately, due to our current COVID restrictions, parents will be unable to attend these events. Please stay tuned for photos in the upcoming newsletters.
PSSA Summer Sports
The Summer Sports trials for both Tennis and Basketball were held last Friday 6th November. Congratulations to the following students who will now progress to the Diocesan trials on Friday 27th November:
Tennis: Harry Hillard & Isaac Flanagan
We wish all of these students the very best of luck for the upcoming trials.
Diocesan Basketball & Tennis: Friday 27th November 2020
Swimming Carnival: Wednesday 9th December 2020
Polding Basketball & Tennis: Friday 5th February 2021
Regional Swimming Carnival: Wednesday 10th February 2021
Diocesan Swimming Carnival: Thursday 25th February 2021
Regional Cricket Trials: TBA Term 1 2021
Cross Country: TBA Term 1 2021
School Musical 2021
Musical auditions were held on Friday 13th November with Anna Kerrigan from ASPIRE helping cast our wonderful production for next year.
31 students from Years 4 and 5 participated in drama warmups, games and script work all with the aim of casting our 6 lead roles.
While every student at St Joseph's will participate in our production next year these 6 actors will help bring these characters to life and provide a framework for our script.
Norman (Zoo Administrator) - Teddy Pasvolsky, Asha (Tour Guide) - Hannah Hickey-Attewell, Sarah (Zookeeper) - Miriam Biswas, Ralph (Security Guard) - Xavier Heaney, Chris (Zookeeper) - Carter Allan and Anna (Zoologist/Vet) - Miller Charnock
Congratulations to every single student who conquered their nerves and gave the acting auditions a go. Your enthusiasm and creativity will help make our 2021 production a huge success.
Rehearsals for everyone will start in Term One next year and we can't wait to get to work!
We love to see everyone borrowing so many books and enjoying their reading. But all good things must come to an end. Next week is the last week for borrowing for the year.
All books need to be returned by the end of Week 8, so if you have had any overdue books, now is the time to have a good look in all those hiding spots, where books seem to disappear.
Book Club Issue 8, the LAST issue this year, was sent home this week. Cash orders should be taken to the library on Monday, 23 November, at 8.30.
Online orders will close at 10am on Tuesday, 24th November.
Don’t forget the GIFT option. I will text you when your order arrives. This is a great option for stocking fillers.