On Wednesday morning our second Kinder 2022 orientation morning took place. Much of the morning was spent discovering the various locations around the school and what happens in them by way of a very exciting scavenger hunt. Each Kinder child along with a Year 5 buddy, took their individually designed and decorated library bags and their St Joseph’s school passport to help them discover spaces such as the canteen, music room, office and handball courts. At each passport location they received an item that would help them make a connection with each of these locations. The children settled in really well for the morning and certainly appeared very keen to start school. For many, the new year is too far away, as you can see in the email from a new parent.
We just wanted to thank everyone involved in our daughter’s orientation to St Joseph’s. She was so warmly welcomed and had a wonderful time getting to know her ‘big school’. She had a great time showing us all her treasures from today’s treasure hunt! We wanted to especially thank her buddy, who’s beautiful calm nature was so reassuring for our daughter and helped her transition right from the start.
Her only disappointment was that she has to wait until next year to visit again!
A huge thanks go to all the many people who have worked behind the scenes for such wonderful experiences to happen. A particular thanks go to our Year 5 students and their teachers for their time, preparation and support ensuring that our orientation mornings run smoothly and positively for all our new children and their parents.
We are currently finalising our staffing for next year. We will be farewelling at the end of this year: Jenny Bowen, our EALD teacher, who will be retiring; Jane Scott, who we hope to see back as a casual teacher; and Jeremy Watt, who will take up a position at Stockton. Carolyn Delore will also be reducing her teaching days and will work for two days a week, in a job share arrangement. We will shortly be able to let you know who our new staff members will be.
We are very fortunate to be able to go ahead with our scheduled swimming carnival, this comning Tuesday. Unfortunately, once again it can only be competitors this year. All children attending the carnival are asked to wear a mask on the bus, while being transported to and from the swimming pool. If your child is attending the carnival, please ensure they bring at least one mask along and know how to accurately wear it. We look forward to hearing which house colour are our swimming champions for 2021 and hopefully next year will be able to have a swimmers and spectators carnival.
We are in the middle of our student leadership process at the moment. The Year 5 students, following their leadership preparation program, have completed their reflection forms outlining why they would like to hold a leadership position at St Joseph’s next year, including how they have already contributed to their community over the last few years and what they would like to do if they were successful in obtaining a role. We will listen to speeches next week and vote for the leaders. We thank the teachers for helping the students with their leadership preparation so far and the children for the mature way they are undertaking this process.
Virtual Academy (VA) Presentations
On Thursday, our Years 5 and 6 Virtual Academy students presented their research projects via Teams to other VA students across the diocese as well as to a range of Catholic Schools Office staff members and various staff from across the schools. We were incredibly proud of not only the depth of our students’ presentations but their confidence levels as well. Our own leadership team viewed some of these presentations and were amazed at the level of complexity of these projects. To think these students are only 11 and 12 years old is quite astounding! Congratulations to all of the students and to Miss Slattery, our Gifted Education mentor, who have worked so hard on these projects. You did yourselves and our school proud!
We are still operating under Covid restrictions in our school playgrounds and are keeping the children in their stage cohorts for playtimes. The dynamics in the playground have become quite different with these changes. These arrangements require the children to think of alternative games and activities to play compared to what they normally would when they have free range across all the playgrounds. You might like to go down memory lane with your children and recall and teach them some of the playground games that you played as a child at school. This could assist your children, big and little, in their playground decision-making over these last few weeks of the school year.
Have a wonderful weekend. Stay safe and dry,
A Prayer of Remembrance
Thank you for the special people in our lives whom we are remembering in a special way during the month of November. We thank you for being a compassionate God who walks with us in our dark moments of grief and loneliness. We are thankful for all who continue to love and support us through our grief.
Lord, continue to be a light for us, giving us hope, direction and courage. May we now live our lives treasuring the memories of those special people we have known
and loved and help us to bring light and hope to others. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord,
The Season of Advent
The time of Advent is the four week period of preparation for the season of Christmas. Advent begins the cycle of the Liturgical Year and focuses on the coming of the Lord. The first weeks offer a vision of the future, looking to the end of time when Christ will come again. The final weeks point more specifically to the birth of Christ. Christ, the promised one, is awaited with joyful expectation. The First Sunday of Advent follows the final Sunday of Ordinary Time and the season concludes on Christmas Eve.
Year 6 Retreat
The Year 6 retreat was a wonderful and very successful time for the children to spend together. There was a great deal of fun, laughter, discussion, prayer and even a few tears shed as the Year 6 students enjoyed their final time together as a class. Thank you to the students for their cooperation. Thank you also to Mrs Collins, Mrs O’Neill, Mr Nolan, Mrs Powell, Mrs Shaw, Mrs Temple and Ms McGinlay for their time and effort in ensuring that the retreat was a memorable experience for Year 6 2021.
Wow! What a fun journey it has been in the Year 6 retreat. I got the chance to be with my friends and we all got to participate in fun activities like, building things in the sand, getting free time, eating lots of delicious food and most importantly, getting the chance to catch up with friends. We got to reflect on our past, present, and future. The surf club was a very beautiful place with an amazing view and where all the teachers took their time to tell us their journey, I felt much more confident going to high school with the retreat has helped me be more comfortable. Overall, the Year 6 Retreat was a very fun experience, I would love to have this experience again in the future. - Patrick
I liked how the retreat made us all feel a little close to each other and made this a very special day, it also helped prepare us for high school and reflect on all the amazing thins we did in high school. It also prepared us for the changes and transition into high school. - Ivy S
The retreat was a good time to reflect and connect with people in year 6. I liked how we got to do a lot of fun games like making sand sculptures on the beach and playing bingo before we went home. Overall, the retreat was great fun and I think everyone had a good time. - Dominic
The Retreat was a great time to reflect on our journey, and the teachers made it easy. We had lots of time to say positive things about each other moving into high school and we had lots of breaks in between work to play lots of fun sports like having a sand building comp within the teams. We also got to play bingo before we went home. I really enjoyed the experience. - Oliver M
The year 6 2021 retreat. The retreat was great. The chance to bond was a blast. The chance to have great people around like friend's and teachers. It is a great opportunity for people spending time together for the last times. My favorite part of the day was the group activities where we had to make different objects and making memories that last. - Chase
The Retreat was a respectful and reflective time, and the food was a great addition to the Retreat. We spent time happily collaborating on activities to share and reflect on our amazing 7 years at primary school. We enjoyed some well written and full of love letters from our parents and to finish off the day some bingo but best of all the winners of bingo won chocolate. - Zachary
Retreat was a time to reflect on the past seven years of primary school as we transition to high school and go our own way's. We did many fun activities on the retreat including the sandcastle competition to writing complements in other people's journals. We finished the day by eating delicious pizza and having a peaceful liturgy. - Sunny
Retreat was about reflecting on our past present and future and really taking in the past 7 years of primary school before we head off too high school. We contributed to many activities, from reading our parents letters to having a sandcastle competition. As we head of too high school, we will have really gotten to know ourselves and how we can get far and succeed in future years. - Sienna
Year 6 Graduation and Farewell Liturgy
This year we will farewell our Year 6 class of 2021 on Tuesday, 7th December. Year 6 and their parents will gather at The Sacred Heart Cathedral for their Graduation Liturgy. This celebration will be Live Streamed to school, families and the community. Year 6 teachers have planned a celebration for students on their return to school. For this occasion, students are asked to wear their full summer school uniform. That includes correct socks and shoes.
Here is the link for this very special event. This is an unlisted link, and only those who have it will be able to view the live stream.
Families will be able to watch the recording using the above link at any point after the Mass is concluded.
SJSJ and St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal
Christmas is a time of hope and joy! This year has had its fair share of challenges once again, and at times it’s been tough to see the joy through the hardship. But as we approach the Christmas season, we're reminded to reflect on the good things, as well as the hope we can bring to others.
St Vincent De Paul 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 St Joseph’s Social Justice team 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 our team 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 1st December.
|Kindergarten||Cereal, tinned fruit, fruit cups, pancake mix|
|Year 1||Soaps, liquid hand soap, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand cream, body wash|
|Year 2||Dried fruit, fruit mince pies, christmas pudding, custard|
|Year 3||Tea, coffee, milo, long life milk, instant coffee sachets|
|Year 4||Vegemite, jams, biscuits (sweet and savoury)|
|Year 5||Couscous, pasta, pasta sauce, instant gravy,, soup|
|Year 6||Lollies, candy canes, christmas cakes, bonbons, jelly|
- To uphold the dignity of those receiving the goods, please ensure that all food items are not due to expire for at least the next 6 months. All items must be nonperishable and tins not damaged or opened packaging.
- Look out for packaged food with a Health Star Rating of 3.5 or above. The more stars, the better!
Our wonderful Year 2 students completed Formative Task reflections at the completion of their Unit-The Saints. During prayerful reflections throughout their class liturgy, the children strongly connected with the theme of we are called to be Saints, to love God and serve others. They wrote in their books and shared their hopes.
I hope I will become a priest ( 3 children- 2 boys and 2 girls)
I hope I will ….
pray a real lot...give heaps of money to the poor...be a good mother and tell my children about Jesus....start a charity....become a famous football player and buy a house to donate to charity....become a famous chef and let poor people eat at my restaurant....become a nun...love everyone and be kind.
There is so much here that gives us all hope for the future. Thank you Year 2 for these inspirational thoughts and hopes.
This week Year 4 spent time writing very special Christmas cards. These cards have been shared with our Parish Office and are going to be distributed throughout the community with the Christmas hampers prepared by St Vincent de Paul. We were so proud to a such a special part of communicating the Christmas message this year. We were very grateful to get the opportunity to support our Parish and the wonderful work of St Vincent De Paul.
We have also been super busy designing and building our very own stables and Nativity scenes.
Family Ministry Corner - Helene O’Neill
Start Dates for 2022
- Friday 28th and Monday 31st January Staff Development Days – Pupil Free
- Tuesday 1st February – students in Years 1-6 return to school
- Thursday 3rd February – first day for Kindergarten
St Nicholas OOSH will be open for students on the pupil free days. Please contact the OOSH if you require casual care for your child/ren on these days.
Student Leadership 2022
The process of selecting our Student Leaders for 2022 is now underway. Please see the remaining timeline below:
Monday 29 November
- Student Leadership Team for 2022 announced
- Nominees for Sports House Captain to complete speech at House Team Meeting
- Students 2-6 vote for Sport House Captains
Tuesday 30 November
- Sports House Captains announced
Thursday 2 December
- Student Leadership Team will write a short speech at school
- Speeches presented to the whole school
- Year 2-6 vote
- Captains and Vice Captains and their parents are informed
- Captains and Vice Captains for 2022 announced
Tuesday 7 December
- Passing of light between 2021 Leadership Team and 2022 Leadership Team at the End of Year Mass.
Positive Behaviours for Learning (PBL)
Our last focus area for the year falls under the category of Do Your Best: Have a go and participate. This unit encourages all students to ‘be a learner,’ while fostering the valuable skill of perseverance. Through this learning students will reflect on what it means to persevere:
- Not giving up when things become challenging.
- Understanding that it requires both effort and consistency to complete a task.
- Using different strategies to solve problems.
- Practice helpful self-talk (e.g., “I can do it” or “Keep trying.”
- Accept that mistakes are how we learn (FAIL = First Attempt at Learning).
Below you will find some useful links which reinforce this concept. Hopefully they are useful too. They may be a conversation starter for you and your child/ren.
Safeguarding -eSafety Resources
Don’t forget the OoSG has produced a number of padlets to support parents in promoting safe online and physical safety messages with their children. Click on the following links to take you to these padlets.
COVID-19 e Books from the Australian Childhood Foundation
This book recalls the story of little Edna May in dealing with the 1919 Spanish Flu.
A storybook providing a positive narrative for young children around the increased mask-wearing seen in the community during COVID-19.
5G Classroom News
We are all leaders
In Term 4 of Year 5, we started to learn about leadership. So far, we have participated in the y-Lead program, Burn Bright, written leadership reflections and voted for the student leadership team. A few weeks ago, we had a day dedicated to y-lead, where we learnt to lead with HEART. Burn bright is a website with modules about leadership, teamwork, diversity and service. There were videos, quizzes, and surveys. We have only just started voting for students to be on the leadership team, but we know in Year 6 we are all leaders and we’re really excited to become the student leaders of St. Joseph’s soon. - Sasha and Leila
Kindergarten 2022 Orientation
A hundred smiling faces ran around, pulling on capes, serving meals, watching the fish dart around the pond, and peering through the tunnel upside down these were some of the unforgettable memories that Kindy kids and their big buddies enjoyed this November. Year Five were lucky enough to meet their little 2022 buddies recently, and everybody – big and small – loved this playful experience. We can’t wait to see them next year when they begin big school! - Eleonor
Kindy orientation was a day to remember filled with so much excitement and bright, bright faces. Nothing feels better than making a little kids face so happy. We loved seeing kids enjoying their time at Kindy orientation; it truly made our day, and playing with the kindergartens was so much fun, seeing their interests and finding more about them. It really was a shame that we could only spend a few hours with them those new Joey’s faces. We can’t wait to make a difference in a positive way. I know that all of Year 5 definitely loved it and we hope their journey through school is one to remember. - Lukas, Christiaan and George
Both Year 5 classes were all patiently (or impatiently) waiting on the silver seats for our buddies to walk in school for the very first time. Slowly, one by one, we approached our potential buddies we took them to the kindy rooms. We spent one hour playing in the rooms. My buddy was so interested in the fish she stuck her hand in the pond! It was so cute watching everyone find friends and explore the amazing kindy play spaces. Then suddenly it was time for our buddies to go home! The time we’d had went faster than ever. For two weeks we waited until we got to see our new little friends again! Everyone was nonstop talking about how cute everyone’s buddies were. Nearly everyone had their same buddies at Orientation 2. This time we had a super exciting scavenger hunt around the school so we could be show them around! Again, it was then time to say goodbye to our buddies. We all miss our buddies already and cannot wait until next year so we can finally see our little buddies again. - Izzi, Milla and Addi
The Virtual Academy (or the V.A) has been an extraordinary experience. I have loved every minute of it. For those of you who don't know, the V.A is a selective program for gifted education. We have fortnightly video conferences with our amazing teachers, and we get a total of three hours a week to work on our modules. It runs online for all catholic schools in the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese, and I was lucky enough to have received a letter at the end of last year explaining that I had been one of the students chosen to participate. In Term 1, we explored and completed the discovery unit. It was so great because we completed fun activities, wrote letters to celebrities and experts, and reflected on ourselves. Then came our main project for the year, the Patterns Unit. This stretched from Term 2 to the end of Term 4 – just yesterday - when we presented to peers, teachers, and panel members. It has been an absolute blast and an overall spectacular experience!
On Thursday the 25th of November 2021, thirteen St Joseph’s students met each other at the back of the quadrangle. There, as a cohort between Year 5 and Year 6, Miss Slattery, explained what would be happening for the rest of our school day - Presentation Day. After journeying to the room I would be in, the meeting room, we joined the Teams meeting. Over one hundred children from Year 5-8 were in there from multiple schools across the Diocese! At 10:00, we were sorted into break-out rooms, and were then ready to share. Even with breaks, the overall time students were presenting was three hours, and that was just in our room! But what did we learn about? My room taught me about abandoned houses, coal mining, super blocks, electric scooters, dog parks, McDonald Jones Stadium and so much more! At 2:30 we were presented with certificates, and I think that participating in this day was worth more than anything. - Emma Shrewsbury
BECOME Year 5
Year 5 Gold has many interesting tasks but BECOME was definitely in the top few. As a part of our BECOME work, Year 5 Gold made business cards. It was the most enjoyable task for the term because we could link our personality now with our future ideas for a career. Here are a few examples: Angus the General Practitioner Doctor, Teddy the Robot Designer, Sasha the Veterinarian, Daisy the ER Doctor, Stella the wild life vet, and Joe’s mountain bike business.
We love BECOME because it opened up a variety of possible opportunities for our future. Finding out what job could suited us best and experimenting with the details of what we would like and dislike. It was amazing to learn that we really can create a career based on us! - Teddy and Angus
Year 5 is out of this world!
I loved the year 5 planets it was my favourite science project I have ever done! Learning how to make papier mache was so much fun, and we learnt so much more about overcoming challenges! We all became experts on a particular planet and presented to the rest of the class with our model, poster and digital presentation. I learnt so much more than I would have if I was to just to look it up! There are so many interesting things about our solar system. It’s actually crazy how many moons there are and I learnt that Uranus is the coldest planet in the solar system, Mercury is shrinking and some dwarf planets take thousands of years to orbit the sun.
This Term we did a really fun science project on planets. First, we had to do the research and make our PowerPoints and posters. But then we got to the super fun part, the planets. We made the planets by blowing up a balloon and then we used papier maché! For the finish, we researched the colour of the planet and then started the mess, which is also known as painting! It was heaps of fun and we learnt so much! The only downside was the clean up. - Heath and Luke
Year 5 has had an awesome year! Grej of the Day was a highlight at the start of every day. Home learning calls at 9:30 were always fun. Home learning was the best because we could finish our work when we wanted! Unfortunately, we didn’t go to Great Aussie Bush Camp which we were looking forward to, but our leadership work and voting was exciting and so was getting our buddies. We have all loved 5 Gold. - Isaac
The first day back we started easy (it was very fun)! We made tons of art and I felt so tired because I was used to being on the lounge! It felt like forever since I had seen my friends! I mean Teams was good but that was virtual. The classroom was back and buzzing - we tried to not talk too much but there were a few moments when I wish I could mute or turn down the volume!
Even though other places in the world had it worse, lockdown never felt like it was ever normal. I finished school work quickly and then really, I was just lazy. Our class did more Zooms which was great, but it was never “school”. Friends were far away; work was all over the place and stress levels were HIGH!
I think the whole class felt like they were in a prison cell. But getting back to school was a relief for as finally we were FREE! Free to get away from the house, free to get away from the screen (But I think we all miss the redo button!) and free to get back to seeing our friends and teacher. Getting back to school was awesome and that I can't ever imagine that school could be locked down again. - Hannah & Edie
Please see important competitor information for our upcoming Swimming Carnival below:
Event – St Joseph’s 2021 Competitor Only Swimming Carnival
Date – Tuesday 30th November 2021
Venue – Lambton Pool
Travel – All students participating in the carnival are required to be at school no later than 8.25am. Students will be transported by bus to and from the event. They are required to stay at Lambton pool for the duration of the event. Students will not be permitted to leave early. They will return to school for a normal recess. NB: Students not attending the carnival will remain at school as normal.
Wet Weather – This is an all-weather event.
Dress – Students are to wear their swimmers under their sports uniform. Due to COVID regulations there will be no student access to change rooms. Students are to bring their own hat, sunscreen, towel, swimming caps, goggles. Equipment is not to be shared.
Food – Students are to bring their own clearly labelled drink bottle for their use only. Students are also to bring their own morning tea, lunch and snacks. There will be no access to the canteen.
Extras – Students participating in one event only may like to bring a book to read, or a book and pencils to draw with.
Event/Supervising Staff – Anne Maree Mantach, Peter Watson, Jeremy Watt, Nicole Charnock, Sally Chaston, Laura Slattery and Angela Samuels
Parent/Spectator attendance – Due to current COVID regulations, parents and spectators are not permitted to attend this event.
Further COVID information -
Before participating in this event, participants must not attend if in the past 14 days they have:
- been unwell or had any ﬂu-like symptoms, or
- been in contact with a known or suspected case of COVID-19, or
- any sudden loss of smell or loss of taste, or
- are at a high risk from a health perspective, including the elderly and those with pre-existing medical heath conditions.
Please check the NSW Government Website for advice regarding the full list of symptoms associated with COVID-19 infection.
We thank you for your understanding and support in light of these current restrictions. We look forward to a very successful and COVID safe carnival.
This was the last week of borrowing for 2021.
All books should be returned to the library ASAP. The class who returns all their loans first will be rewarded!
If your child/children are unable to return their books for some reason, please contact the Library via administration email.
Newcastle City Library runs some excellent children’s activities during the school holidays. Details are on their website.
10 minutes a day – the best investment in your child’s future!
School Fees 2022
If you have not already returned the 2022 School Fee Information Form can you please download a copy and return to the school by Friday 10th December.
There is a great deal of lost property here at school including lunch boxes, drink bottles, hats and jumpers. Please ask your children to check lost property and ensure that your child's belongings are labelled clearly with their name.
2022 School Bus Travel
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