In my own parish over the coming months, we have been invited to explore our baptismal vocation and responsibility to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. Each week a chapter from: ‘How to Share Your Faith with Anyone: A Practical Manual for Catholic Evangelisation’ by Terry Barber will be summarised and shared with us.
Throughout this journey, we are encouraged to reflect and discuss these ideas with friends and family. As my school family, I would like to share with you, at times, some of what we are reflecting on and encourage you to explore your role in Evangelisation. “Evangelisation... it’s the job description of all the members of the church. That means it will primarily be the work of lay people... who witness to the Faith in the very ordinary circumstances of their lives” (Forward by Dr Scott Hahn (extract). We are those church members, those lay people Dr Hahn is referring to. So let’s all take up the challenge to give witness to our faith in quite simple or ordinary ways and encourage our children to do the same. It is something that we Catholics are not always comfortable doing, as we can be quite self-conscious, tending to worry about what others will think. The Evangelisation Challenge that has been passed on to us this week is to say “God bless you” when you leave someone. Why not see if you too, can manage this challenge. Perhaps turn it into a family challenge – who can fulfill it the best- the adults or the children?
At our recent P&F meeting a number of concerns were raised by parents who are worried about the safety of all our children. These included parents parking in the Kiss and Drop zones and leaving their cars to either go into school or to stand on the footpath talking to friends; parking right by the gate in Union St and causing a queue that goes round into Kenrick St; and coming along too early for afternoon pick up in Farquhar St, queuing around to Kemp St and causing a significant blockage to traffic, which both parents and residents are upset with.
Solutions to these are:
- Ask your children to say their goodbyes whilst they are in the car and then they independently get out of the car onto the footpath side and there is no need for parents to leave the driver’s seat (some practice may be needed for this at home over a weekend, if you don’t think you or your child can quite manage this just yet).
- Park your car and walk your child to the gate where you can then stop and chat with friends.
- Plan on coming to Farquhar St at staggered times – 3:00pm, 3:05pm. There will always be a teacher there with the children and the line will flow much more smoothly and quickly.
- Get your children to walk to school and to get support from Brian, our new school crossing supervisor, to manage crossing the road safely on Farquhar St.
Kiss and Ride Zones are designed for your convenience and for your child’s safety. Designed for quick entry and exit, these zones minimise congestion and risk when used properly by all parents and carers. These zones operate under the same conditions as no parking zones, which means you may stop to drop off or pick up children for a maximum of 2 minutes. You're required to remain in, or within 3 metres of, your vehicle.
What a great effort our children are making with wearing their uniforms correctly and with pride. Since the last newsletter, and our request for your support to encourage this pride in our school with your children, there has been a marked improvement. Well done girls and boys and also well done to our parents for supporting us in this area.
We are pleased to say that the girls Winter trousers have come into stock at Lowes and over this past week we have had a number of girls wearing them. The trousers have been perfect for this week’s cold weather snap. The girls look both smart and comfortable in this optional uniform and we look forward to seeing more of the girls wearing them, if this is what they choose.
It has been a busy time around here for Renata Powell and I since returning from Canberra. We have been spending many hours meeting with the families who would like to enrol their children into Kindergarten next year. It is exciting to start to get to know the next ‘batch’ of children who, in the not too distant future, will become part of our St Joseph’s community. I am very proud to say that our numbers for next year are very strong indeed and the recurring themes coming through these meetings are:
- What a magnificent idea it is to be led around the school by the Year 6 students and how proud they are of their school and how well-spoken they are.
- How desirable it is to know that the allocation of which class their child goes into is based on detailed observations of each child over the first few weeks of school rather than randomly assigning them a class.
- The 3 session Orientation program for both the children and their parents that allows for not only learning things about the school but also supports the building of relationships between the parents as well as the children.
Reports and Parent Teacher Interviews
Next Friday 18th June you will receive your child’s Semester One Progress Report. The reports will be loaded onto your child’s Compass account where you will be able to access them. We recommend that you also download them onto your computer in a reports folder for each child, just in case throughout their schooling they need to change schools, for if this happens you will not have access to the Compass reports if they no longer are attending one of our Maitland- Newcastle diocesen schools.
The following week teachers are available to meet with parents to discuss your child’s progress (details for how to book your times were posted on Compass on Thursday 10th June). This is a great opportunity to hear about goals for next semester along with acknowledging the successes of this semester. Taking the time to read through and discuss the report together, as well as engaging in parent/teacher interviews and then coming home and discussing these with your child are all ways of showing your child that you:
- are interested in them
- value education and their learning;
and these two things are known to help bring about engagement and growth in children’s learning.
Reading your child's school report together
We encourage you to read the report with your child. School reports are a great tool to help you understand how your child is going at school – and they can be used to start a conversation with your child about their learning.
Here are some tips to you help you analyse and discuss school reports with your child.
When reading your child’s report card, try to emphasise the positive. Praise your child for their improvement and achievements – and try to be specific with your praise. For example, “I’m really pleased with your progress in science. You have been working so hard and have improved so much”.
Focus on effort, not grades
Try not to focus too much on the grades your child receives. When children are too focussed on their marks they can develop a ‘grade orientation’ rather than a ‘learning orientation’ – and can become less likely to enjoy learning and to challenge themselves. Recognise your child’s hard work even if it is not reflected in their marks. The teacher’s comments can often tell you more about the effort your child is making at school than the results. For example, “Your teacher says you have really been concentrating in Maths this term. I’m proud of you.”
Every child is different
Try not to compare your child’s report to that of an older sibling or friends. Your child is unique and shines in their own areas. Boost your child’s self-esteem by concentrating on the things they have excelled in, where they have tried hardest and where they have shown the most improvement.
Talk about it
It is a good opportunity to use your child’s report to talk to your child about how they are feeling about school. Ask your child what they think about school, their subjects and their report. If your child raises any concerns, offer your support to help make a plan to address them. For instance, if your child wants to improve their Maths skills, you can help them to set realistic weekly goals, like setting aside 10 minutes a day to focus on Maths revision.
Valuable learning tool
Your child’s report is a great indicator of academic areas your child is excelling at and where they can improve. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s report or their progress at school, please write them down and bring them along to your parent/teacher meeting. Feel free to take notes when talking with the teacher, especially the suggestions they may offer you, as so often when we do not write things down we have forgotten them by the time we have made it home.
Our school band will entertain us on Monday 21st June at 12:30pm in the hall. We look forward to hearing what they have been working on and seeing if we can remember all the names of the band instruments.
Then on Thursday afternoon, 24th June, after recess, our students who have begun to learn guitar this year will also put on a performance for us. We look forward to hearing this group of students demonstrate their skills as well. Parents and other family members are welcome to join us for these performances. Don’t forget to sign in with the QR code upon entering the school grounds, if you decide to come along.
|18 June||Pupil Free Day|
|21 - 24 June||Parent Teacher Interviews|
|21 June||Band Performance - 12:30pm|
|22 June||Futsal Tournament|
|24 June||Guitar Performance - 2:10pm|
|Last day of Term 2|
|25 June||Pupil Free Day|
|12 July||First day of Term 3|
|16 July||Pupil Free Day|
|27 July||School Photos - Full winter uniform|
Staff Professional Learning - Number Talks
On Friday 18th June (pupil free day) all staff from St Joseph’s will be completing professional learning on the subject of Number Talks. Fiona Foley, the presenter, is a Professional Learning Consultant with the Mathematical Association of NSW. The workshop will look at "What is A Number Talk?" and "How to create a learning environment where all students are encouraged to develop and express their mathematical ideas clearly”. The aim of the workshop is to support teachers in building a whole new perspective on mathematics and engaging students in creative, open mathematical thinking by establishing Number Talks in the K-6 classroom. This professional learning aligns with our 2021 school improvement plan which focuses on the area of Mathematics.
Positive Behaviour Learning (PBL)
Our final PBL focus this term is Do Your Best – Be A Team Member. This is an important focus area as children learn the importance of contributing to a group goal, rather than an individual goal. They will be discussing the qualities of being a good team player such as sharing tasks equally, being fair, including others, encouraging others, demonstrating focus and displaying a commitment to the task. By evaluating several different scenarios, students will identify how they can become even better team players. If you have an opportunity, please discuss these concepts with your children at home.
Around the school you may notice a poster promoting our 4 PBL expectations. Thank you to Grace Williams (1B) for having the initiative to create it!
Being halfway through the token 5-week block, we look forward to giving students a progress report on a token count next week.
Students from our school attended an education tour of the national capital. Students were given the opportunity to participate in a variety of educational programs with a focus on Australia's history, culture, heritage and democracy.
The Australian Government recogises the importance of all young Australians being able to visit the national capital as part of the Civics and Citzenship education. To assist families and schools in meeting the cost of the excursion the Australian Government contributes $30.00 per student under the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate program towards these costs. The rebate is paid directly to the school upon completion of the excursion.
In Week 6, Year 6 had a fabulous time away in Canberra. Even though the weather was chilly, we still had clear and sunny days. After we survived the 6-hour bus trip, the fun began straight away. We started with visiting the National Gallery of Australia where we saw many inspiring artworks. Next, we visited the Royal Australian Mint and observed how coins were manufactured. We could have sat and watched, Titan, the robot all day. After that we went to the Australian Institute of Sport. This was one of our favourite activities in Canberra! Our last activity for this first busy day was at Questacon. We had dinner first and then had great fun with all the interactive science activities. At 9pm we finally made it to our accommodation, and we were all feeling very exhausted.
On Day 2, we first enjoyed a cooked breakfast at our accommodation before we departed for a once in a lifetime view of Canberra from the top of Mount Ainslie. Next, we visited Parliament House. Here we were able to meet our local federal member, Sharon Claydon. 6G were fortunate enough to see Prime Minister, Scott Morrison in the House of Representatives whilst 6B had a great time rolling down the grass. After that we had a great time at the National Arboretum where we used our orienteering skills to navigate and track hidden markers spread across the mountains. The day wasn’t over yet as our next stop was the National Dinosaur Musuem. Here we entered prehistoric times and we especially liked the gift shop. In the evening our Lego activity was based at our accommodation. We were all looking forward to getting into bed at the end of another long day.
We woke up on Day 3 and were feeling a little disappointed as our time in Canberra was coming to an end. For our first activity, 6G visited the Musuem of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House whilst 6B visited the Electoral Education Centre. After that, we drove around the various embassy buildings and America’s was the largest by far. Our final visit on our excursion was the Australian War Memorial. It was very moving to witness the devasting effects of war. Before getting back on the bus we enjoyed a pizza lunch, and this helped us fill our stomachs for the long drive ahead.
On behalf of Year 6 we’d like to thank all the teachers and Roy, our bus driver for providing this great excursion for us. We definitely made memories that will last a lifetime. Overall, we had an amazing time and we all had of wished that we could have stayed longer.
Cate Hayes and Charlie Whittaker
Australian Mathematics Competition
Wednesday 4 August – Friday 6 August
The Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC) is an engaging 30-problem competition that demonstrates the importance and relevance of mathematics in students’ everyday lives; it is open to students in Years 3 to 12. Australia’s leading educators and academics, with a deep understanding of our national curriculum standards, actively design the unique AMC problems each year. The competition is fully online.
Held in Term 3, the AMC has two divisions applicable to primary school: Middle Primary (years 3–4) and Upper Primary (years 5–6). The cost is $6.50 per student.
If you would like your child/ren in Years 3 - 6 to participate in the competition, please complete the payment via QKR.
For more information click here
Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus: Friday 11th June 2021
Prayer to the Sacred Heart
O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing,
I adore you, I love you and will a lively sorrow for my sins.
I offer you this poor heart of mine.
Make me humble, patient, pure, and wholly obedient to your will.
Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in you and for you.
Protect me in the midst of danger; comfort me in my afflictions;
give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs,
your blessings on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death.
Within your heart I place my every care.
In every need let me come to you with humble trust saying,
Heart of Jesus, help me.
Many children from our St Joseph’s community and the wider Newcastle Parish over the last two weekends have received the Sacrament of Holy Communion. It has been a privilege to see these students at St Joseph’s Church or Sacred Heart Cathedral make their first Holy Communion and experience this very special sacrament of receiving the Body and Blood of Christ. Thank you to those in the community who have supported the children and families during the Sacramental Program. We continue to pray for these children as they continue on their faith journey.
St Joseph’s Social Justice Group
Our SJSJ Group and Student Council are focused on organising our 2021 Winter Appeal. The St Vincent De Paul Society has requested this year that they would very much appreciate donations of blankets, breakfast, lunch and dinner hamper items such as tinned condiments, cereal, rolled oars, fruit cups, pasta sauce, vegies, tinned tuna, pasta, rice, soup, long life milk, coffee, tea, baby food items, tinned fruit, and noodle cups.
Each class will have a basket in their rooms and we ask that classes donate as follows
6B - Cereals
6G - Rice/Pasta
5B - Spreads (ie; jam, vegemite & honey)
5G - Milo, tea or coffee
4B - Soup (can or packet)
4G - Canned fruit (small tubs for lunch boxes)
3B - Long life milk or juice
3G - Canned spaghetti or baked beans
2B - Baby Food
2G - Canned vegetables
1B - Packet ready meals ie; noodle cups
1G - Crackers
KB - Blankets
KG - Blankets
All donations will go directly to the St Vincent De Paul 2021 Winter Appeal. Thank you in advance for your kindness and generosity, people in need in our local community will be very grateful.
Mrs Cott from St Vincent De Paul will be visiting us to collect items on Thursday,24th June 2021 at 9 am.
Please see the Parish Bulletin for more details and registration for Masses in our area - https://www.newcastlecatholic.org.au/weekly-bulletins/
Last week, kindergarten students welcomed a very special guest Stephanie Callaghan. Stephanie is a proud Aboriginal woman from the Wonnaruah and Worimi nations of the Hunter Valley/Port Stephens regions.
Stephanie fascinated students with local Dreaming stories and led kindergarten through some very hands on activities. Students loved acting out some of the Dreaming stories- using the quality resources and props provided by Stephanie. We certainly have some very sneaky ‘emu hunters’ and clever ‘emu birds’ amongst our kindergarten children.
Stephanie will also be working with St Joseph’s during our NAIDOC celebrations next term. Preparations for this special event on our cultural calendar are very much under way.
We look forward to having Stephanie back with us soon.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Teacher
Regional Athletics Carnival
The Central Region Athletics Carnival was held on Friday at the Fearnley-Dawes Athletics. Congratulations to all the students who attended. We saw many displays of outstanding effort and sportsmanship across the day. The results from the event will be published via Compass early next week. Students who have progressed to the Diocesan Carnival on Wednesday 28th July should have received event information and registration papers today from their team manager. Further details regarding the Diocesan carnival and the team attending will be publish in upcoming newsletters.
St Joseph's Regional Athletic Team
|Maya V||Oliver S||Bridget K||Archie B|
|Ava K||Otis Z||Lily G||Evan B|
|Adelaide M||Archie D||Dearbhla C||Leimoni P|
|Eve Y||Jacob F||Violet L||Sidney M|
|Amalia S||James S||Mabel H||Edward M|
|Isabella D||Evie B||Spencer S||Lucas V|
|Bonnie P||Carter A||Madeleine L||Zach M|
|Gizelle G||Zac G||Gowri P||Vrix M|
|Eleanor M||Zara D||Oliver C||Olivia H|
|Byron S||Lucia M||Hugh M||Stella C|
|Louis W||Edie C||Gus M||Miriam B|
|Theo S||Abby B||Oliver M||Aurelia F|
|Dante M||Hamish M|
NSWCPS Cross Country
The NSWCPS Cross Country was held on Tuesday 8th June at Eastern Creek. Lily Graham, Archie Doyle, Sidney Maxwell and Elliot Mole attended this event. Each of these students gave their absolute best and represented themselves, St Joseph’s and the Polding team with pride. They were faced with a challenging cross country track that included various inclines and terrains of gravel, grass, concrete and mud. Lily, Archie and Sidney each took on the 2km course, while Elliot ran 3km.
All of these students did exceptionally well in their categories and placed as follows:
Archie – 8th (8-9 Years Boys)
Lily – 8th (8-9 Years Girls)
Sidney – 10th (10 Years Boys)
Elliot – 10th (11 Years Boys)
At the conclusion of each event the top 3 fastest teams of runners from each division, were awarded a medal. Both Lily’s Polding team and Elliot’s Polding team placed 1st overall.
We congratulate all of these students for their fantastic achievements!
Our Junior Boys and Senior Girls team will participate in the State Titles Futsal Tournament on Tuesday 22nd June at Maitland Basketball Stadium, Maitland.
The day will begin at 8:45am and conclude at approximately 3pm. Parents will be responsible for transporting their children to and from the event.
During the event the children will be under the supervision of Mr Watson.
On the day, students will be required to wear full school sports uniform. Children may choose to play in either joggers or futsal boots. Shin pads are compulsory when playing. They are encouraged to wear a mouthguard if they have one, however this is not compulsory. Children should bring their own lunch/snacks for the day, water bottle and any required medication, e.g. asthma puffers.
We wish both teams all the very best for the upcoming tournament!
Oliver Moran will be participating at the NSWCPS Rugby trials in Forbes from 20-21st June. This will be a challenging trial to test Oliver’s skill and prowess. We wish him all the very best for the event. We know he will represent himself and St Joseph’s with pride.
Futsal Tournament: Tuesday 22nd June
Does Being Different Make a Difference?
Year 4 Gold have been reading the book ‘Wonder’ which is about a boy who is born with a syndrome that makes him look physically different to his friends.
At times, it has been hard to read the book because of the hurtful reactions this boy, Auggie, endures from the people around him. One part of the book that creates food for thought are Mr Browne’s precepts. He is a teacher at the school and writes one of these sayings on the board each month. These are words of wisdom that can guide us to live our lives to the best of our ability.
Two that we have talked about and learnt off by heart are:
‘Your deeds are your monuments.’
‘If you have to choose between being right and being kind, choose kind.’
We have had discussions about differences, particularly physical ones.
After all, aren’t we all different and unique in our own way???
One of our reading activities was to create and paint an animal that differed physically from its species.
This started with a written activity that created and described the animal. We then moved on to a painting of the animal and decorated it with a variety of materials. Below are the photos of our animal paintings in progress and completed.
This activity helped us to appreciate that each of God’s creations is beautiful and unique in their own special way.
Year 2 had a wonderful history excursion to Tocal Homestead. Tocal was built in 1841 and has been preserved as an historical site. The children were able to experience what it was like to live in the past. They could see how technology has changed so dramatically since 1841 and appreciate how modern technology has made life in the home so much better. They participated in some great activities that made them feel like children from the past. They played old fashion games, scrubbed the washing, carried water, dressed up, set the dining table and saw what it really was like to cook in an 1840’s kitchen. It was even fun travelling there on the double decker bus.
Premier’s Reading Challenge
It’s great to see so many students adding to their reading logs towards completing their challenge.
Congratulations to all these students who have recently read the required number of books: Charli Davies, Isla Knox, Cameron Macdonald, Olivia Alexander, Max Whittaker, Lula Karandonis, Ava Kent, Amelia Collins, Ava Knox, Cooper Hosking, Chloe O’Donahue, Joshua Hillard and Eva Cootes. Well done!
Students will be able to borrow library books for the holidays if they have returned all other books. Several students have received reminders recently to return their overdue loans. Please check with your children if their books need to be found and returned.
Keep on reading!
Musical rehearsals are getting so exciting in classes as we head towards the end of term 2. Grades are working so hard to put the finishing touches on the dramatic elements of their items incoporating filming, voice overs and lighting effects.
A large part of the production process in 2021 has been student involvement in contributing ideas and allowing them to take ownership of the creative process.
Big shout out to Year 6 this week for pushing themselves to their creative limits. I love how each student is participating in an effort to produce the best musical scene they can.
Designing the right look for a production doesn’t happen overnight and doesn’t just involve what we see on stage. Take our musical poster for example, it started out as a rough drawing frantically drawn on a waiters notepad, sent to our designer who thankfully added the artistic flare and handpainted into the beautiful design you see now. This gorgeous original handpainted poster will be up for auction in Term 3. Stay tuned for more exciting details!
School Photos will be on 27 July 2021
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