As we come to the end of our school year, I would like to say thank you for the welcome and acceptance you have shown towards me this year. I have had a terrific first year here at St Joseph’s and am very grateful to be part of this community. As I reflect over the year, I can’t believe how eventful it has been. Some of the highlights for me this year have been winning the playground grant, our school musical, ‘Just One More’, the combined Masses with Holy Family at the Cathedral, the FFL team making it to the National competition, the Year 6 retreat, the Kindy Picnic in the Park, our Working Bee, the completion of a new toilet block, the public speaking and maths and spelling bee competitions, the school disco and of course, all the incredible learning that has taken place!
I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all those families and friends who have volunteered their time, services and gifts with us here at St Joseph’s. Without your support we would not be able to achieve all that we do or as well as we do it. Our volunteers help out with things as varied as Library borrowing and canteen assistance, shovelling dirt and rocks at working bees and organising or lending a hand at fundraisers and barbecuing sausages; they help out in the classrooms and on excursions; with Playgroup and craft activities and as chauffeurs and team managers and coaches. The list of tasks is immense, and the staff and students are so very grateful to all of you for your help and assistance.
I would also like to offer my sincere thanks to the wonderful staff I have the privilege of working with. Our teachers, support staff in classes and the office are all amazing and incredibly hard working. Their passion for children and learning is obvious every day and it is a joy to come to work in such a positive place each day. They always have the children’s best interests at heart and it is wonderful to be part of such a caring community.
I would especially like to offer my sincere gratitude to our leadership team. Renata Powell, Stephanie Colvin and Nicole Charnock undertake their leadership roles with great passion and they have been a wonderful support to me over the course of this year. A leader of any organisation or team cannot be effective without the assistance of a support network and I am very appreciative of all they have assisted me with this year.
My final thanks I wish to extend goes to all our students. Thank you for being the well-mannered, caring, happy to learn group of young people that you are. You have all grown in so many ways this year, not just in size, and you should be very proud of yourselves.
What a fabulous night we had on Wednesday evening with our family picnic and Christmas Concert. The varied musical pieces that, put together, told the story of Jesus’ birth and showed us all that celebrating the birth of Jesus with friends and family is what is important at this time of the year. The simplicity of the night – sausage sandwiches, music, simple costumes and good company was, I believe what made it such a good evening. Thank you so much for coming out and helping to share the spirit of Christmas with our St Joseph’s family. Events like this that are supported by parents mean a lot to the children and help to strengthen our community. Thanks also to the small, but incredibly hard working team of parents who cooked and prepared our sausage sandwiches, and especially to Meagan Boyle for all the organisation that went into this and to Nathan Zervos for the donation of the bottled water.
For those parents who were unable to attend the meeting last Monday evening I would just like to confirm that there will be an OOSH service here at St Joseph’s in 2020. It is also hoped that a vacation care program in January will be provided. I understand the difficulties that many of you are experiencing through not having final confirmation of what is happening and will do my best to obtain this. As soon as I receive details about both of these services, I will forward them to you. At the moment there are information and enrolment packs for St Nicholas OOSH that can be collected from the school office. Parents were informed on Monday evening that anyone who has had their places for next year confirmed by KCA will have a place for 2020. Please keep your ‘confirmation of place’ email for verification purposes.
After a lot of discernment, we have now appointed a contractor for revitalising our playground. Site meetings have been undertaken and contracts issued. This means that once we break up for the holidays they will come in and fence off sections of our playground and begin to transform our dusty paddock. Throughout the month of January if you pass by the school grounds you will be able to view the progress of this project. It is going to be so exciting coming back to school next year to a totally different environment!
If anyone knows of a house or any other accommodation that the 4 contractors could stay in for most of the month of January please contact the office with details. Many thanks.
As we are still finalising staffing for next year, I am unable to share with you which teachers are taking the different classes for 2020. We will share this information with you prior to the ‘step up’ session on Monday 16th December. The ‘step up’ session is a chance for your children to step up to the next class and where they get to meet their new teacher and their new cohort of classmates.
End of Year Arrangements
School for 2019 formally finishes for our students on Wednesday 18th December. If your child will be commencing their holidays earlier than this date, please inform the office. This is necessary so that the children’s book work and belongings can be sent home with them.
Semester Two reports go home next week. We encourage you, even though it is an extremely busy time of the year for everyone to make the time to not only read your child’s report but to sit down and talk to them about it. Let your children know what you are proud of them for and also let them know what you think they need to work on next year. Engage them in this discussion with you. Ask them what they are most proud of in regards to their learning and what they will have as a goal for their learning next year. This way you know the goals they want to set for themselves and before school goes back next year you can remind them of this and talk to them about how they could make these goals happen. If you leave the report discussion until after the holidays the children have moved on from this last year and it is too hard for them to take their minds back. If you think you will forget their goals over the holidays why not write them down so you can refer back to them when you and your children are making your ‘Back to School’ preparations. Please contact your child’s teacher to make an appointment or telephone interview time if you would like to discuss their report or alternatively you may wish to make an appointment early next term with their new teacher and bring along this report to refer for discussions around where or how to go forward.
Medical Action Plans
If your child has a medical action plan it is a requirement that this be updated annually. We ask that over the holidays you meet with your child's medical carers to write a new plan and on return to school please arrange a time to come in and explain the plan to both office staff and the class teacher.
Summer Holiday Reading
Just because it is holiday time does not mean it is "NO READING TIME". In actual fact it is probably the opposite. There are far more times and opportunities for the children to read over the holidays than school time and for them to really engage with texts. I'm sure Santa has on his list, books or magazines for every one of our children! Please encourage your children to read over the holidays. It is not meant to be a chore. Why not make time to read together as a family over this break time. If your children do not read at all over the holidays it is a common thing for them to drop back 2-4 reading levels when they return to school. This is a loss of 1-2 terms worth of reading progress. Do you really what your child to spend the first term catching up on where they left off at the end of this year? If not, please ensure that regular reading of 'anything' is occurring.
The new sports polo shirts arrive at Lowes this month. Once we have received confirmation that they are in stock we will share this with you.
In preparation for next year we ask that you read the following information about footwear.
In 2020 the existing school policy in reference to footwear will be enforced. This means that for both girls and boys black leather school shoes are expected to be worn. These may be lace ups, Velcro or ‘Mary Jane’ style shoes. The subject of footwear has come up at several recent P&F meetings which has led to research and discussions with the school leadership team. We have decided to continue with the black leather footwear for the summer and winter uniforms rather than a black trainer style shoe. Choosing to stay with the traditional black leather shoe means that there is a greater variety of shoes out there for all children that can accommodate the different sizes, characteristics and needs of their feet. Clarks’ Daytona style, for example, has 184 different fittings available.
“Putting kids into the wrong fitting shoes is a recipe for foot and leg problems. Aside from each foot having a unique shape and function, children's feet are in constant state of change due to growth and stress from sports and play. This means an incorrect shoe fit can alter the way a child's foot moves and develops, says podiatrist Joseph Frankel.”
The following links explain what to look for when purchasing school shoes and how to care for them. The one common piece of advice is to have your children’s feet professionally measured when purchasing the shoes.
In regard to sports shoes the children need to wear predominantly white trainers. Skate shoes or ‘athleisure’ shoes are not acceptable as they do not provide the adequate safety and support to your children. Again, sports shoes can be lace ups or Velcro. Please ensure that laces are white.
I am aware that it is easy purchase trainers of many varied colours but it is also possible to purchase predominantly white trainers relatively easy as well. Stores such as Myer, Athlete’s Feet, Foot Locker, JD Sports, David Jones, Williams, Target, Big W and Rebel all sell them and in a quick online search I found that they range in price from $25 to $180.
Some of the various brands that I have found who have white trainers include: Nike, Adidas, Ascent, Asics, New Balance, Lacoste, Converse, Lonsdale, Fila and Grosby.
Examples of Black Leather School Shoes
Examples of Predominantly White Sports Shoes
If all white cannot be found, then predominantly white is required with a minimal additional colour.
The additional colour needs to be royal or navy blue
|10 December||Year 6 & Kindergarten Buddy picnic|
|13 December||Combined schools Parish Mass|
|16 December||Talent Quest|
|16 December||Step Up|
|17 December||Year 6 Graduation Mass|
|17 December||Talent Quest|
|18 December||Year 6 Clap Out|
|18 December||Last day of school for 2019|
|19 December||Staff Development Day|
|20 December||Staff Development Day|
|28 January 2020||Teachers Return|
|29 January 2020||Year 1 - 6 return to school|
|31 January 2020||Kindergarten commences|
Congratulations to Christopher Mooney (KW) and Miriam Biswas (4G) who so proudly represented St Joseph’s and our Central Region at the Diocesan Public Speaking Competition on Tuesday 26th November. Representatives from each of the six regions were present and at this stage of the competition the standard was very high. Miriam was in the Stage Two section of the competition and had to prepare two speeches, one impromptu and one prepared. Her topics were strength and forgiveness, respectively. Miriam was announced as Runner-Up across the Maitland Newcastle Diocese. Christopher was in the Early Stage One section of the competition and his prepared speech was on the topic of Grandparents. We are very happy to announce that Christopher won his division. Congratulations to Christopher and Miriam!
2020 Class Placements
At the last P&F meeting I shared with parents the process teachers undertake when forming classes for the following school year. I explained that there are many factors to consider and it is not an easy process. At times there are many draft lists. Some main considerations when determining placements are
- Gender Balance
- A range of Academic abilities
- Social and emotional needs of the cohort
The staff spend considerable time and consult with previous teachers as well as the School Leadership Team before deciding upon the placement of each child. We are blessed to have excellent staff at St Joseph’s who go well beyond what would normally be expected so children will receive a high quality of education no matter which class they are placed in.
End of Year Reports
For a number of weeks now teachers have been in the process of writing Semester Two Reports on students. This is quite a lengthy and demanding process, as teachers work to offer accurate records of each child’s progress throughout this second part of the year. Reports will be available via the Compass App on Thursday 12th December. Parents are then welcome to make an appointment in the final week of the year if they wish to discuss the report with their child’s teacher.
Following tradition at St Joseph’s we are once again holding the annual Talent Quest. This will be spread across the Monday and Tuesday of Week 10 during the middle sessions. This is an opportunity for students to display their many and varied talents. Unfortunately, we are limited by time and cannot facilitate each act taking part. For this reason, classes have auditions and acts are selected to go through. Kindergarten (Monday) and Year One (Tuesday) will do a class act and will begin our Talent Quest session for that day. This will be at approximately 11.30am. The remainder of the schedule is yet to be determined. This will be confirmed and communicated to our community in Week 9. We are aware that it is ideal for siblings to perform on the same day, and where possible this will be organised. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and we appreciate your understanding in this matter.
2020 Student Leadership Process
The 2020 Student Leadership Process is underway. During the last fortnight Year 5 students have had the opportunity to nominate themselves for the Student Leadership Team and/or for the role of Sports Captain. This week, focusing firstly on the Student Leadership Team, Year 5 students have voted, followed by staff. Once the Student Leadership Team is decided, these students will present a speech to the school community. Voting will follow and the results of this determine who our 2020 School Captains and Vice-Captains are.
On Thursday, Years 2-6 gathered in Sport Colour Houses to vote on Sports Captains.
Students will be informed of the results of each category in a very timely manner. There will be a symbolic passing on of student leadership at our End of Year Mass. 2020 student leaders will officially receive their badges at the beginning of next year.
The First and Second Week of Advent, Year A
God has brought us again to this beautiful Advent season of waiting and preparing for Christ to come into the world and into our hearts. Advent is a special time in the church year when we prepare and get ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus. The word ‘advent’ means ‘coming’. The advent wreath helps us keep our thoughts focused on the coming of Christ at Christmas. Lighting the candles on the wreath symbolises the coming of light, Jesus, into the world. We are reminded in the Gospel to be ready, to be watchful, and to be waiting for the coming of the Lord. The first candle of Advent is called the candle of Hope because the angels came to the shepherds with a message of hope. The second candle of Advent is called the candle of Peace. Advent is a time to focus on light, not darkness. We are reminded to be the light of Christ, bringing about hope and peace in the world. During this second week of Advent we ask God for forgiveness for the times we have not been peaceful people. We ask for guidance, like Mary and Joseph, as we light the Candle of Hope and the Candle of Peace. Mary and Joseph remind us that God comes to us in the humble and simple. It is God’s statement that God does great things from humble beginnings.
Thank you to Kinder Blue for leading us in liturgy for the first week of Advent. Kinder Gold lead us in the second Advent liturgy today and Kinder White will lead the third week's liturgy on Friday 13th December at 8:50am under the COLA at morning assembly.
Thank you to all the families and staff in the St Joseph’s school community who have
generously donated this Christmas season to Little Juddies and St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal.
End of Year Parish Mass at the Cathedral
On Friday 13th December, St Joseph’s and Holy Family will travel to Sacred Heart
Cathedral to celebrate as a whole school and parish community. We will be travelling by bus to the Cathedral to be ready for Mass at 12 noon. The children will return to school for Recess. All parents or families are warmly invited to join us for this special parish Mass. Fr Peter will be presiding, and we will also celebrate Fr Peter’s 5th anniversary of his Ordination during this Mass.
End of Year - Year 6 Graduation Mass
Our End of Year Mass, and farewell to Year 6, will take place in St Joseph’s Church on Tuesday, 17th December at 9:15am. Please join us as we celebrate together and
thank God for the year and say farewell to our beautiful Year 6 students. We will also have the passing of light from the current student leaders to the 2020 student leaders. For our Mass, students in the school are asked to wear their full summer school uniform.
Shout out for BLUE/PURPLE ONLY Agapanthus Flowers to be brought in for the Mass.
Christmas Mass Booklet Drawing Competition
Fr Peter is holding a competition to decorate the front and back cover of the Christmas Eve Vigil Mass Booklet. Students in K-2 are invited to draw their best Christmas tree for the back cover image. Students in Years 3-6 are invited to draw the Nativity scene for the front cover image. This has been given to students this week. There will be a prize for the two winners. You will see the winning design at the Christmas Eve Vigil Mass at St Joseph’s on December 24th at 6:00pm. Fr Peter will judge the winning designs, however, the winners will not be announced before the Mass. Please return entries to class teacher by Thursday 12th December with clearly marked names on them.
ACYF – The Australian Catholic Youth Festival
The Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) is a national gathering of Catholic
young people established by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC). It exists to provide young people (aged 15-35) with opportunities to deepen their relationship with Jesus, be empowered to be disciples in the world today and encounter and celebrate the vitality of the Church in Australia. The ACYF theme this year is: Listen to what the Spirit is saying.
The bi-annual festival will be held in Perth, December 8-10 over the coming week. Mrs Powell, Miss Slattery and I will be attending as part of the pilgrimage group of students, teachers and clergy being sent from the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. We will then embark on a 3-day-retreat to reflect on our experiences and encounters from the festival. We are very much looking forward to the experience and to sharing these experiences when we return in Week 10.
Newcastle Inner City Catholic Community - Weekend Mass times
Sacred Heart Cathedral – Vigil Saturday 5:30pm, Sunday 9:30am and 5:00pm
St Joseph’s, The Junction – Sunday 9:00am
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Tighes Hill – Sunday 8:00am
St Mary’s, Newcastle – Sunday 7:30am
Christmas Eve Mass Times
Sacred Heart Cathedral 5.30pm 7.30pm 10.00pm Midnight
St Joseph's, The Junction 6.00pm
Christmas Day Mass Times
Sacred Heart Cathedral 9.30am 11.30am
St Joseph's, The Junction 9.00am
St Mary's, Newcastle 7.30am
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Tighes Hill 8.00am _________________________________________________________
Congratulations to the following students who have been successful at the recent Diocesan Basketball and Tennis trials.
Tennis: Isaac Flanagan & Nina Amidy
Basketball: Kaylah Broadhead
These students will now progress to the Polding trials for each sport, which are scheduled to be held in early 2020. Congratulations to each of you on your outstanding efforts!
It is with great pride that we honour the following students who this year have represented themselves and St Joseph’s as part of a Polding team, participating in NSWPSSA competition in their chosen field.
Swimming: Daisy Breasly, Bronte Bowker, Hannah Horn, Genevieve Smith, Liam Doyle
Football: William Harvey, Oliver Cockle, Julian Dunn
Rugby: Ben Moran
Congratulations on your continued sporting success!
A reminder that our 2020 Swimming Carnival will be held on Tuesday 4th February at the Forum, Newcastle University. Students in Years 2- 6 will attend. Thank you to those parents who have returned student entry forms for this event. Any late forms will no longer be accepted.
Swimming Carnival: Tuesday 4th February 2020
Polding Basketball & Tennis: Friday 7th February 2020
Regional Swimming Carnival: Wednesday 12th February 2020
Diocesan Swimming Carnival: Thursday 27th February 2020
Regional Cricket Trials: TBA Term 1 2020
Cross Country: TBA Term 1 2020
The ICAS Assessments series is designed to assess students' ability to apply classroom learning in new contexts, using higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills. At St Joseph’s, students in Years 3-5 had the opportunity to participate in these assessments in English, Writing, Spelling, Science and Maths. This year our participating students performed at an exceptionally high level with many students being awarded a Merit, Credit, Distinction or High Distinction. Congratulations everyone for your outstanding efforts.
Virtual Academy Presentations
This year, four of our students were selected to participate in the CSO Virtual Academy – an online learning forum in which students work on individual projects to research, investigate and solve real life problems. On Wednesday, Molly Boyle, Jack Webber, Timothy Collins and Kolby Barr presented their projects to a panel of experts at All Saints College, Maitland. They demonstrated outstanding skills in public speaking, research, problem solving and determination. The panel of experts commended all students for their brilliant ideas, research and the thoughtfulness of their projects. The Virtual Academy is facilitated by Miss Rebecca Heath who has guided, taught, inspired and motivated the students to perform at their highest ability. We wish to pass on our sincere thanks to her for her commitment to ensuring our students' success.
Please return all books to the library ASAP! The students have been given verbal reminders to return all library books.
Written reminders will now be sent home. If the books cannot be located then the replacement value needs to be paid at the office.
Thank you. A big THANK YOU to all the mums, dads and grandparents who helped with library borrowing this year. We couldn’t have such successful sessions without you.
Merry Christmas and keep reading!
Kindergarten were fortunate enough to enjoy a coaching clinic from the Newcastle Jets A League and W League players on Friday 29th November.
The visit was part of the prize the "Decorate Your Gate" competition earlier in the year which was sponsored by the Greater Bank.
2020 Family Discount & Diocesan Pastoral Contribution Forms
All families who have not yet returned the form will be getting a hard copy home with their child today. Please return this to the office on Monday
2020 School Fees
Please refer to the attached letter from the Diocese regarding school fees for next year. School fees will be sent out early in Term 1 next year.
Unless otherwise stated, the advertisements placed in this newsletter are placed by independent third parties who have no legal relationship with the Diocese. The activities or services of the advertisers are not supervised or controlled in any way by the Diocese. The Diocese is not in a position to endorse the advertisers or the services provided and makes no representation about those matters. Accordingly, the Diocese cannot accept any responsibility for the advertisers or the activities or services that are the subject of these advertisements