We have made it to halfway through the school year. I hope you have enjoyed discussing your children’s learning progress with them so far this year, referring to the reports we have shared with you and the parent-teacher interviews you have engaged in. For those who have not yet managed to meet with your children’s class teacher and wish to do so, please contact the teachers at the start of next term.
Much time and a great deal of effort goes into the writing of these reports and they are there for you to know how your children are going but also for your children to be affirmed for their attitudes, their efforts and achievements. It is also important for them to know what they need to focus on to improve. For these reasons I ask that you find time, while it is all fresh in your mind, to sit down and talk with your children about their report and what the teachers said at your meetings. An overwhelming number of children at Monday’s assembly indicated that their parents had not shown them or talked to them about their reports.
An additional request, for the future, is that if you are unable to make your scheduled interview time, please send an email or call the office so that the teacher can be informed. They have made themselves available to meet with you and are very happy to do so however it is a little unfair, when they have taken time away from their own families, that they are left waiting without any explanations.
Mrs Leah Temple will commence her maternity leave at the end of this term. We wish Leah well and hope she manages a few weeks of rest and relaxation, along with some sleep, before welcoming her second child into the world.
We are also very excited and thrilled to inform you that Ms Renata Powell is expecting her first child later in the year. We are wondering what is in the water in Year 6 Blue!
This means that next term, Miss Chloe Coe, will take on Leah’s role of providing the Assistant Principal release on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Chloe, in Term 4, when Renata is on maternity leave, will then teach 6 Blue on a fulltime basis.
Congratulations to our mothers-to-be and a big welcome to Chloe. Our Joey’s family is continuing to expand!
Updates to the Parent App
Compass will be releasing the new look for the parent app over two days from the 30 June - 1 July to CEnet schools.
Newsfeed Sort Function
Parent/carer users can now sort their newsfeed by 'most important' or ‘most recent'. The default view will place important school posts first, but users can now toggle the feed view to ensure they don't miss a post.
NewsFeed posts that are marked as a priority by the school will be highlighted with an ‘important news’ banner so they can’t be missed by parents/carers.
To make posts easy to find Compass have added a handy bookmark. Parent/carer users can now bookmark any Newsfeed posts they want to keep for reference, such as upcoming event information that they may need after they have consented. When they no longer need the post they can simply 'unsave'.
Compass have created a parent friendly guide that we hope you find useful.
Looking for Experts
In the Virtual Academy, the students’ focus is on the problem-solving process, requiring them to define problems and begin to discover more about them. Part of this process requires the students to narrow down their brainstorms to choose problems, issues and topics in our world that interest them and to find ways to make a difference. Part of the process involves helping the students to contact experts in the fields of their chosen problem. Not only does this give the students more information about their topics but it is also a chance for them to connect with someone like-minded and offers our students inspiration to see adults working in industries they are considering as part of their learning in the future.
Please get in touch with our diocesan Virtual Academy Acting Coordinator Bianca Sibert (firstname.lastname@example.org) or our school administration staff if you know of an expert, including yourself, in any of the following topics who would be willing to connect with students either via email or video conference:
- Sustainable transport
- Newcastle, Singleton, Maitland, Port Stephens Council
- Ocean conservation
- Energy efficiency
- Renewable energy
- Pollution/Fossil fuels
- Population growth
- National parks
- Disability support
- Bio gas
What a bunch of talented musicians we have here at St Joseph’s. This week we have been honoured to have our school band perform for us at the start of the week and our guitarists to bring the week, and the term, to a close. Our musicians did a fantastic job of playing in tune, playing in time and most of all entertaining us and making the rest of the school feel good. They certainly showed that with regular practice and dedication, great things are possible! Congratulations to you all. You deserve a standing ovation!
What a huge but wonderful Kinder 2022 enrolment process it has been for Renata Powell and me this year. To be able to have families in for tours and to sit down and meet with them in person has been so rewarding and interesting and so much better than what we all experienced last year. I have loved getting to know all the new families and Ren has equally enjoyed connecting with the families of siblings. We have been inundated with applications this year and unfortunately have not been able to offer places to everyone. This group of pre-Kinders have come across very respectful and well mannered and we cannot wait for our Orientation sessions to commence in Term 4.
‘Imagine’ Early Learning Centre
On Tuesday evening I was asked to be part of the “Preparing to go to big school” transition information evening at Imagine Early Learning and Childcare Centre just across the road from The Junction Fair. Besides me there were representatives from The Junction Primary School and Hamilton South Primary School as well as a past parent. The evening was all about sharing ideas for preparing your children to start Kinder and the parent group was very appreciative of all the words of wisdom they received. It is hoped that over the next year we will connect and engage with this centre more often, both on their site and on ours, and forge a close relationship with them.
If you are on holidays with your family over the next two weeks I wish you fun and enjoyment. If you are not, I wish you a well-deserved break from the regular routine of school preparation, packed lunches and washed uniforms. Stay safe. I look forward to seeing you upon our return in Term 3.
|25 June||Pupil Free Day|
|12 July||First day of Term 3|
|16 July||Pupil Free Day|
|27 July||School Photos - Full winter uniform|
Semester 1 Student Council
We would like to acknowledge and thank our members of the Student Council for Semester 1. These students have done a fine job representing their classes and we are very grateful for their time and effort. The initiatives that these students have discussed have been varied and their feedback on how we can improve practices across the school have always been very beneficial. Thank you once again to the students below
|Hamish M||Layla P||Alexander B||Maya V|
|Bailar G||Max O||Hayden C||Ava K|
|Jonathon H||Audrey O||Diesel M||Edie P|
|Mason V||Isabella D||Luca W||Eleonor Mc|
|Rhys K||Madeleine L||Gizelle G||Archie W|
Safeguarding Professional Learning
On Friday 25 June, all St Joseph’s staff will be attending Course 3: Advanced safeguarding for educational services. Ensuring all staff in our community are aware of processes and procedures related to child protection is essential.
Positive Behaviour Learning (PBL)
Students continue to be very much engaged with the Dash tokens. It’s great to hear children are pleased with how their positive behaviour is being acknowledged. It is wonderful to see how the PBL containers in the COLA filled up over the past 5 weeks! Students may receive tokens in class or on the playground. Staff are looking for, and able to reward positive behaviour across all four expectations:
- Act Safely
- Be Respectful
- Care For All
- Do Your Best
Congratulations to the BLUE Sports Colour House for achieving the most tokens in the second half of this term! Students in this sports house will meet early next term and decide what their reward will be.
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
St Vincent de Paul COVID Winter Appeal
We would like to thank you all, as members of our school community, who generously supported and donated towards our fundraising and food drive over these last few weeks. It is incredible how much we have to give and support the local Vinnies chapter here in Newcastle. These resources for SVdP will make a huge difference for people whose lives are impacted during these cold winter months. It was so special to have Michelle Kot here from St Vincent De Paul to formally accept our contributions to the Winter appeal, and to speak to us about how much our contributions are needed and where they will be going. Very special thanks to Mrs Standing and our incredible St Joseph’s Social Justice team for organising this appeal and for preparing the contributions for collection.
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.
Feast of St Benedict
St Benedict is our Inner Newcastle Parish Patron Saint; we will celebrate the feast day during the holidays on July 11th.
Who was St Benedict?
St Benedict is also known as Benedict of Nursia; Founder of Western Monasticism
Memorial 11 July
Born c. 480, Nursia, Umbria, Italy
Died 21 March 547 of a fever while in prayer at Monte Cassino, Italy. Was buried beneath the high altar there in the same tomb as Saint Scholastica
Name Meaning blessed (= Benedict)
Roman nobility. Twin brother of Saint Scholastica. Studied in Rome, but was dismayed by the lack of discipline and the lackadasical attitude of his fellow students. Fled to the mountains near Subiaco, living as a hermit in a cave for three years. His virtues caused an abbey to request him to lead them. Founded the monastery at Monte Cassino, where he wrote the Rule of his order. His discipline was such that an attempt was made on his life; some monks tried to poison him, but he blessed the cup and rendered it harmless. He returned to his cave, but continued to attract followers, and eventually established twelve monasteries. At one point there were over 40,000 monasteries guided by the Benedictine Rule, which in summaryis, “Pray and work.”
NAIDOC Week will be celebrated at our school in Term 3 after our winter holidays.
Alive in the Spirit | Conference | 8-10 July 2021
The Conference, coordinated by the Lay Pastoral Ministry Network (formerly known as NAPPA) collaborating with the Christian Initiation Australia Network (CIAN), and the Mission Planners Network Oceania (MPNO) invites people to consider the events in our world, and within our Church, which present us with an opportunity to open our hearts and minds to act upon what the Spirit is asking of us at this time in Australia and Oceanic region.
The Conference encourages faith communities including clergy, staff, leadership teams, council members, ministers and volunteers; for those in pastoral care, for youth, family and education support, to engage in the life of Christ, and his Church, by exploring ways to:
- engage the wounded, the disillusioned, the disaffiliated, the discontented & disconnected members of the Body of Christ;
- heal the divisions that have caused pain in our Church;
- revitalise those Catholics who are just “hanging in there” so that they may once again share the Good News of Christ;
- encourage and resource those who have brave and bold evangelisation ideas.
We wish Helene O'Neill the very best as she presents at this conference with the activities she has completed with 4 Blue.
Visit the website for more information: https://pastoralministrynetwork.org/
Please see the Parish Bulletin for more details and registration for Masses in our area - https://www.newcastlecatholic.org.au/weekly-bulletins/
Diocesan Athletics Carnival
The Diocesan Athletics Carnival will be held on Wednesday 28th July at Hunter Sports Centre Glendale.
The event will begin at 9.45am and finish at 2.00pm approximately. Students are expected to stay for the duration of the carnival. No students are to enter the centre prior to 9.00am. The gates will open at 9.00am and students are to meet their regional team managers in their allocated seating area. There will be signs up along the fence. The team managers for this event will be as follows:
- Mrs Rachael Wlodarczyk - St John's Lambton
- Mrs Olivia Redgrove - St Columba's Adamstown
- Miss Elise Stewart - St Patrick's Wallsend
There is no paperwork for this event, as competitors' Regional paperwork will be forwarded on to the Diocesan team managers. There is however a $10 entry, that can be paid to the school office no later than Friday 23rd July.
The competition rules are as follows:
- The Carnival will be conducted in accordance with the rules set down by the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle Primary Schools Sports Association and the Rules of I.A.A.F. An order of events sheet is attached but is subject to change.
- Parents are not allowed inside the track fence or marshalling area (except for children in multiclass events).
- 7mm spikes may be worn in races where children run in individual lanes. Spikes are not permitted in packed starts.
- Runners choosing to use starting blocks must use the centres.
- Paperwork for the Polding carnival will be given out at the END of the Diocesan carnival. Children are to stay until the completion of the carnival to collect paperwork from their regional team manager. They must register online by the due date. If a student is unable to compete at the Polding carnival, please notify Bernadette Duggan on the day of the Diocesan carnival or within 3 days of its completion.
- The top THREE athletes will be selected to represent the Diocese in each event, except relay which is the fastest TWO.
- Spectators are welcome but must sit in the allocated seating away from the regional team areas. All spectators must sign in on the QR code on entry and practice social distancing and hygiene protocols. Covid Guidelines are subject to change.
The St Joseph’s Diocesan team and events are as follows:
Lily Graham - 9yrs 100m, Junior 800m
Eve Yuen - 10yrs 100m
Mabel Hainsworth - 11yrs100m, 11yrs shot put
Bonnie Petersen - 12yrs 100m, 12yrs 200m, 12yrs Shot Put
Violet Lusby - Junior 200m
Eden Buxton - 12yrs 1500m
Stella Childs - Junior Long Jump
Oliver Sciulli - 8yrs 100m
Evan Beacher - 9yrs 100m, Junior Boys Relay
Archie Doyle - 9 yrs 100m, Junior 800m, Junior High Jump, Junior Boys Relay
Jacob Flynn - 10yrs 100m, Junior 200m, Junior Long Jump, Junior Boys Relay
Sidney Maxwell - 10yrs 100m, Junior 200m, Junior Shot Put, Junior Boys Relay
Vrix Marcelo - 13yrs 100m
Zachary McGready - 12yrs 800m, 12yrs High Jump
Lucas Vickery - 11yrs High Jump
Carter Allan - 12 yrs High Jump, 12yrs Long Jump
Byron Schmidt - Junior Long Jump
Oliver Moran - 12yrs Shot Put
We wish all these students the very best for this upcoming event!
On Tuesday 22nd June I had the pleasure of taking a junior boys’ team and a senior girls’ team to the Northern NSW school FUTSAL championships held at Maitland.
In total there were 24 schools represented from the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Central Coast regions. The teams that were competing had all placed either first or second at their respective regional competition round. Because of this we knew the competition would be tough.
Each team played three rounds. The girls played their first game against Killarney Vale in what ended up being a very close and exciting encounter. At half time our girls were behind 3 -1 and needed to re-group in the break. In the second half two quick goals were scored with only 3 minutes to go and then the winning goal was scored with just a few seconds left. Final score, 4 – 3 to St Joseph’s. Unfortunately, the next two rounds did not go our way with a score of 1 – 0 against us each time. This left the girl’s team in 3rd place in their pool and not able to advance to the knockout round. Well done girls on three exciting and competitive games.
While the junior boys won each of their round games the games were very close affairs and they had to play hard for the entire time. At the end of the three rounds the boys finished top of their pool and advanced to the knock-out final.
Peter Shewsbury, our junior boys coach and manager describes they’re day best:
The boys started well, looking composed and in control as they took a 2-nil win in Game 1 against a good Hillsborough side, and followed it up with a hard-fought 3-1 win over a highly rated Wyong Christian School side.
With progress to the semis assured but playing to top their group, the boys nearly slipped on a banana peel in the final group game, falling behind to Green Point before struggling back to a 3-2 win.
The boys faced Kariong in the semi-final, and despite being generally dominant were held at bay by their very good goalkeeper, and like the previous game needed to grind out a win-from-behind victory, scoring the final goal in a 4-3 win with seconds to go.
And so came the final against a Holy Family team that the boys had beaten in the previous competition. Unfortunately, the ball just couldn't seem to find the net for us, and we conceded some unlucky goals to lose the final 3-nil, a result that belied an even match. The boys never gave up the chase and can be proud of their performance.
Congratulations boys! Runners up at this level is a great achievement.
Thank you to the parents who transported children to the event and for staying on and cheering on the players. Thank you to Peter Shrewsbury who managed and coached the junior boys and to our intern teachers who assisted with managing and supervision for the day as well.
NSWPSSA Cross Country: Thursday 15th July
NSWCPS Gold: Monday 26th July
Diocesan Athletics Carnival: Wednesday 28th July
Boys State Touch: 10-12th August
Central Region Netball Gala Day: 24th August
Polding Athletics Friday 3rd September
There was great excitement in the Library this week. We got to celebrate Isabella Yau’s artistic skills.
During the term, the school took part in the National Simultaneous Storytime, where teachers and students were able to share the story of “Give me some Space” by Phillip Bunting. Part of this was the opportunity to enter a national colouring competition run by Learn from Play. Isabella was awarded second place in this competition and the prize arrived this week! Congratulations Isabella.
During Mathematics this term we have been learning various new concepts and skills. We have enjoyed using hands on materials to explore, represent and demonstrate our learning. We loved sorting objects in a variety of ways and making patterns and mandalas.
Aboriginal Education in Kindergarten
This term Kindergarten have been learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and their history and continuing culture. We have been listening, discussing and responding to various Dreamtime stories. During Reconciliation Week, we had the pleasure of welcoming Stephanie Callaghan into our classrooms. Stephanie is a proud Aboriginal woman from the Wonnaruah and Worimi nations, of the Hunter Valley/Port Stephens region. She conducted a range of activities with us, imparting her knowledge and experiences of her Indigenous culture. Stephanie captivated Kindergarten with local Dreaming stories. Some of our favourite Dreamtime stories are “Tiddlick the Greedy Frog”, “How the Birds got their Colours” and “Emu in the Sky.”
We have been building upon these new experiences and working closely with our Aboriginal Education Officer, Mrs Shaw, to incorporate Indigenous perspectives into our daily activities in Visual Arts, English, HSIE and Religion. We even made our own Dreamtime Book! Kindergarten can’t wait to work with Stephanie again during NAIDOC Week.
The pedagogy of play is always present in our kindergarten classrooms. This term we have enjoyed using our outdoor environment for self-directed play. Being outside allows children to express themselves freely meaning children can jump, move and explore to their hearts content. Kindergarten feels a sense of freedom playing outdoors and is fantastic for a child's development, both physically and mentally. We hope you enjoy our creations and constructions.
What a wonderful Term 2 we have had in Aboriginal Education at St Joseph’s! A highlight was certainly the visit from Wadi Wadi tribal elder - Aunty Chris and sharing her amazing life story with our Stage 3 students.
Many classes have also had lots of fun participating in various cultural experiences. It’s been wonderful to see children so engaged when we’ve learnt about bush tucker, bush medicine, Aboriginal ceremonies and Dreaming stories. A great way for students to connect with these experiences is to be amongst our beautiful Tokoolibah area in the playground and role playing daily life experiences of a traditional Aboriginal person.
It was also wonderful to welcome Stephanie Callaghan to Kindergarten and have her share her amazing knowledge about local Aboriginal Dreaming stories.
Next term is also looking action packed for Aboriginal Education at St Joseph’s Merewether!
We start with a bang on Tuesday 20th July, when we will celebrate NAIDOC day. We look forward to welcoming back Stephanie Callaghan to host this day for us. She will also be accompanied by experienced dance consultant – Mauri Perry. I’m sure students will thoroughly enjoy participating in meaningful and fun activities throughout the day.
Watch this space for more exciting cultural opportunities for our school.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Teacher
School Fee Statements
As you are aware we have moved to an annual billing cycle.
School fee statements have been sent out.
We remind you that fee payments should have commenced by now and if paying by instalment we ask that accounts are finalised by 30 November 2021. If paying in full please finalise prior to 30 June 2021.
Payments can be made via BPay, direct debit or credit card.
For families experiencing financial hardship, or wishing to discuss other payment arrangements please contact the Office.
School Photos will be on 27 July 2021
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