Dear Parents & Carers
This past fortnight has been for us the busiest of the year so far. The events that have taken place have ranged from ones filled with happiness and delight along with ones of sadness and loss. Excursions, band concert, school and regional athletics carnivals, Pyjama Day, First Holy Communion, NAIDOC Week celebrations, Police Highway Patrol visits, school reports and parent-teacher conferences celebrating achievements, have all brought delight to us over this time. However, the passing of Carole Houston, Mason’s (Year 2) mother and her funeral on Thursday have also affected us in a deep and sad way.
One thing that has been apparent in all of these events is how supportive and strong our St Joseph’s community is. It really has been evident, over these last two weeks, that we are a group of people that care about each other and feel we belong together. Personally, I feel blessed and very grateful to be part of such a community.
One of the most moving experiences I have been part of was our parent prayer service for Carole last Friday morning. Together a group of people came together in their grief, including members of Carole’s family, to pray and share memories and thoughts of her. The Spirit that was present in the room amongst everyone was so real and powerfully connected all those who were present.
Carole’s family were very touched by this gathering and by the many ways that the families of St Joseph’s have been in their support of them. In the office foyer area is a card of thanks from them to all the parents, saying:
“ The Parents of St Joseph’s,
We appreciate your support and endless gestures such as meals and kindness.
From Carole Houston’s family xx”
As we continue to move forward in our own lives, take with you Carole’s philosophy of ‘go out and make memories for your family’ and follow her mantra - ‘Live and love life’.
The Saint Joseph’s School Band entertained us all on Monday when they performed a great repertoire of musical items for us. The concert began with the tune of Hawaii Five-0 and the band members getting into the part wearing colourful leis and sunglasses. Not only were we entertained by the band but several Year 2 students also gave us a laugh when they attempted to play the trumpet for the very first time. The band performed in tune, in time and with great enjoyment for what they were doing. The audience were very attentive and showed great appreciation for what their fellow classmates were able to do. If your child would like to be part of the band please contact the office for further details. We can’t wait to see and hear what the band have in store for us in their next concert.
Aboriginal Sacred Space
On Thursday, as part of our NAIDOC Week celebrations we blessed and launched our Aboriginal sacred space. We were very honoured to have the two people whose talents have created something very unique and special for us, Richard Campbell the Aboriginal artist and Julie Squires a parent and sculptress, be present for this. Richard and Julie were part of the launch ceremony and then they stayed on for the day to meet with each grade and explain the symbolism within the Stations of the Cross and Brolga art works. We were also fortunate to have Louise Campbell, our Diocesan Aboriginal Education Officer; Suzanne Fern, Head of Teaching and Learning and Catherine Murray a past Assistant Principal of St Joseph's and Education Officer, from the Catholic Schools Office join us. We thank Fr Peter for blessing this space and we are looking forward to using it.
This space is intended to be one of calmness and stillness in the busy life of our school. A quiet place of rest and reflection, where those in our community can come to pray, think, meditate and connect with the spirit. It is a place for both individual and group contemplation and we hope that all those who choose to come to this sacred place will feel Christ’s presence and guidance. We hope this sacred space is one of sanctuary to all, and a place that inspires us to live out our faith. We pray that our presence in this space leads our hearts to be kind and our spirits emboldened to act.
As we are on Awabakal Land we wish to recognise this connection and so have chosen an Awabakal word by which to name this space. We believe that this space is one where we can come to be guided to live the truth, so, in keeping with our school motto we have named this sacred space, Tokooliba, meaning ‘place of truth’.
Please feel free to enter into this space next time you are on school grounds and remember that it is space for you as parents to also use for prayer, contemplation and reflection.
Recently I listened to a podcast with Maggie Dent, an Australian counselor, teacher, celebrant and author, talking about raising boys. Taking into account her professional experiences, as well as personal ones, considering she has raised four boys of her own, you realise she is quite qualified to talk on this subject. The podcast was both interesting and humorous and filled with lots of practical tips and ideas for both parents and teachers. Besides being relevant to those who parent or teach boys it’s also highly relevant to those with girls in helping you to understand the differences between the two sexes.
The link to the pod cast is:
Maggie Dent’s website (https://www.maggiedent.com/ )is also worth bookmarking for all parents, I believe. There are lots of resources here on so many topics including, anxiety, family breakdown, grief, bullying, behaviour …
Parish Feast Day
Today, for the first time, the two primary schools in Saint Benedict's Parish came together at the Cathedral to celebrate mass for our patron saint Saint Benedict, who's feast day occurs on July 11th. This was a fabulous way for our schools to celebrate our faith together. The Mass was beautiful, the reverence and singing of the children was commendable and we hope that the two schools can continue to work and socialise together over the coming years. We pray for Saint Benedict's guidance over us.
On our return to school we continued to celebrate Saint Benedict, the patron saint of students, with the school cake and some extra play.
We return to school on Monday 22 July. This is not a pupil free day. The children return wearing their winter school uniform. You might get your children over the break to look for lost ties, polish shoes and empty out whatever may be floating around in the bottom of their bags.
Enjoy the holidays and the lack of routine and the company of one another. Stay safe and we look forward to seeing you in the new term.
If you have not managed to have a parent teacher interview this week with your child’s teacher please contact them early in Term 3 to arrange for a meeting to discuss your child’s progress and goals for the new term. We apologise for the glitch when the reports were sent out last Friday. It appears that a gremlin got into our system. The report that you can now see on Compass is the correct and final report for Semester One.
To finish off this term I would like to share with you some happy news. I’m delighted to inform you that Mrs. Renata Powell will continue in her role as Assistant Principal at St Joseph’s. Ren is Acting AP for the remainder of this year and her permanent appointment will commence in 2020. We are thrilled for Ren and the school. We know she will be superb in this role and are very fortunate to be the recipients of all her skills, expertise and care. Congratulations Ren!
NAIDOC Week Colouring in Competition
|22 July||School Returns||Term 3 Commences|
|24 July||School Disco||School Hall|
|29 July||P&F Meeting||School Library|
|31 July||ASPIRE||Years 3 & 4 attending|
Congratulations to this fortnight's Principal Awards recipients Tom Alexander, Harry Rock, Lula Karandonis, Finlay Smart, Katie Merlo, Frankie Long, Stella Childs, Luca Wildschut, Lucas Ponte, Lucy Webber, Daniel Stone, Vincent Whitehead, Liam Doyle, Darcy Mitchell and Phoebe Biswas
Prayer of the Aboriginal People
Father of all, You gave us the Dreaming,
You have spoken to us through our beliefs,
You then made Your love clear to us in the person of Jesus
We thank You for Your care.
You own us, You are our hope.
Make us strong as we face the problems of change.
We ask You to help the people of Australia to listen to us and respect our culture.
Make the knowledge of You grow strong in all people,
So that You can be at home in us and we can make a home for everyone in our land.
Prepared by Aboriginal people for Pope John
Paul II’s visit to Alice Springs 1986
NAIDOC Week (July 7-14)
NAIDOC stands for National Aboriginal Islander Day Observance Celebration. It is a week when the whole country celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Officially, it is recognised during the upcoming school holidays beginning on Sunday, 7th July. We have celebrated NAIDOC week at school during this week.
This year the theme is Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let’s Work Together for a Shared Future. We celebrate the invaluable contributions that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have made – and continue to make - to our communities, our families, our rich history and to our nation. We pray that we may continue to work together so that all people feel listened to, valued, respected and accepted.
Thank you to the whole school community for joining us in the NAIDOC week liturgy held Monday 1st July. A special thank you to Mr Nolan and Miss Slattery, and the Year 5 students who led the school in liturgy.
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.
On Tuesday 25th June the students and staff of St Joseph’s generously supported Pyjama Day. This Mini Vinnies initiative involved raising money, support and awareness of the St Vincent De Paul Winter Appeal.
A number of parents and Mini Vinnie students made and sold hot chocolates with delicious marshmallows at recess. All profits were added to the donations students brought in. Together we raised approximately $1500.
We also wrote a postcard message of love and support during class for the St Vincent De Paul Society to distribute.
Thank you all for your generous support.
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
Regional Athletic Carnival
Congratulations to all students who participated in the Central Region Athletics Carnival on Tuesday 2nd July. It was a fantastic event, which saw several students from St Joseph’s qualify for the upcoming Diocesan Athletics Carnival.
The Diocesan team will be as follows:
Nina Amidy, Bronte Bowker, Daisy Breasley, Kyle Burr, Oliver Cockle, Angelique Douglas, Madeleine Gill, Harry Green, Rajbir Gujrul, Mabel Hainsworth, Will Harvey, Leo Langworthy, Violet Luby, Sidney Maxwell, Darcy Mitchell, Raphyte Molinia, Lewis Patterson, Bonnie Petersen, Arabella Read, Harriet Saunders, Chloe Vickery and Ava Williams.
Please see Compass for a copy of the Diocesan qualifying results, along with details of the Diocesan Athletics Carnival, which will be held on Wednesday 7th August 2019 at the Hunter Sports Centre Glendale.
Polding Rugby Union
On Monday 1st July Darcy Mitchell and Ben Moran attended the Polding Rugby Union Trials in Parkes. The boys had a fabulous day of play and competition, which resulted in both boys being selected to represent in the NSW Rugby Team. Congratulations boys on your outstanding achievements. We know you will do yourselves and St Joseph’s proud at the upcoming NSW/PSSA event.
Chris Gangemi Gala Rugby Day
Holy Family and St Joseph’s are joining forces to send a team to the Newcastle/Hunter Catholic Schools Rugby Union Challenge. This will be a 10-a-side Under 12s event.
St Joseph’s Members of this team will include: Darcy Mitchell, Ben Moran, Max Mitchell, Arun Griffiths, Eli Wasley and Lewis Patterson.
As we are sending a combined team, we will not be eligible to progress to finals later in the year. We will be focussing on fun and participation on the day. Our coaches for this day will be Dan Beckett (Holy Family) and Dan Mitchell (St Joseph’s).
This event will be held on Thursday 25th July 2019 at Maitland Rugby Club in Lorn from 9:00am - 2:30pm.
Good luck boys. We hope you all enjoy a fun and successful day!
Chris Gangemi Gala Rugby Day (Newcastle/Hunter Catholic Schools Rugby Union Challenge): Thursday 25th July
NSW/PSSA Cross Country: Friday 26th July
Diocesan Athletics Carnival: Wednesday 7th August
As part of their History studies Year 4 travelled to The Rocks last Friday to participate in a fabulous, hands-on excursion, discovering the secrets of colonial life. Our students dressed up in costumes representing the different groups of people living in the colony, including Governor Phillip, Governor Macquarie, nurses, free settlers and convicts! We visited landmarks in the preserved 19th Century historic landscape of Sydney’s oldest neighbourhood including Cadman Cottage (built in 1816), Playfair Street, George Street and The Rocks Square just to name a few. From there we continued to the Sydney Harbour YHA, which is built above archaeological remnants of colonial Sydney, and The Big Dig Archaeology Centre. Here we worked as archaeologists to excavate artefacts from the simulated archaeological dig, then used our investigative skills to discover what life was really like for the convicts and early settlers who lived in The Rocks during the 1800s including George Cribb, Ann Armsden and Richard Byrne. We had a fabulous time and learnt so much about Australia’s early colonial history.
Thanks to Mrs Matheson, Mrs Charnock, Mrs Pearson, Samantha Anthony, Mel Di Nardo & Alison Taber for joining us and making this excursion possible.
Our 2019 Read-a-thon has been a great success raising $7,170.82 (after costs) for our school playground. Thank you to everyone that contributed financially and supported the students in their efforts.
Students participated in reading and illustrating throughout the Read-a-thon and all students who returned their reading/illustrating log received a certificate and small prize for their involvement.
In the final week of our Read-a-thon students entered our colouring and illustrating competition. Congratulations to our winners:
Infants: Layla Pinto K Gold winning the ‘Alfie’ book by Lillian Webb
Primary: Isabella Mattes 3 Gold winning a voucher to MacLeans Booksellers
Infants: James Shrewsbury 2 Gold winning a voucher to MacLeans Booksellers
Primary: Michael Halasan 6 Gold winging an illustration by Gwynneth Jones
Highly commended illustration: Eva Cootes 4 Gold winning a voucher to MacLeans Booksellers
Congratulations goes to 1 Blue and 2 Gold who were our overall winners, raising the two highest amounts in the school. This week they have received their major prize with visits from local illustrators Lillian Webb with 2 Gold and Gwynneth Jones with 1 Blue and ice cream vouchers to the Hood Milkbar.
A big thank you to MacLeans Booksellers for sponsoring prizes for the colouring/illustrating competition, the Hood Milkbar for providing us with a discount for ice cream vouchers and to our local illustrators Gwynneth Jones and Lillian Webb for spending their time with our winning classes, sharing their expertise and enjoyment of illustrating with the students.
Thank you to the teaching staff for encouraging the students to participate, the parents for overseeing reading/illustrating logs and to Mrs Collins and Mrs Millgate in the library for helping with publicity and the colouring/illustrating competition.
Premier's Reading Challenge
Congratulations Christopher Mooney, Evan Tissera, Joseph Cootes, Clara Ponte, Hannah Hickey Atwell-Atwell, Eva Cootes, Ivy Jones, Myfanwy McMahon, William Stevens, Ivy Smith, Lula Karandonis, Isabella Yau, Ava Williams, Flynn Chaston and Henry Chaston. These students recently completed their challenge. Well done!
The challenge goes until 30th August.
Some students will receive an overdue notice this week. Please assist your child to locate their books and return to school ASAP. If any book is lost it must be paid for at the office.
Happy holiday reading
This Semester four children participated in a program called the Virtual Academy. The Virtual Academy is a workspace for children online where we do work around the subject of the world. This semester three of us worked around the subject called Patterns. We could choose between Global Patterns or Local Patterns. I chose to do Global Patterns. Over the semester we would research solutions to our problem which was, "Can We work better with Nature?" I chose to solve this question through Green Architecture. We used out-of-the-box thinking to help us to solve our problems. When we finally finished our projects we had a great presentation packed with information. We presented to our classes the work we had been doing. We all learnt something new and we had a lot fun doing it as well.
Jack Webber Year 6
At the start of this year, I was lucky enough to be chosen to be part of Virtual Academy! Each semester, we are given a topic to complete a project on. This semester, we were asked to identify a local or global pattern that was or that caused a problem. We then had to solve this problem by doing a lot of research.
The pattern I identified was deforestation. It has an enormous impact on many animal species including the Sumatran Orangutan. The Sumatran Orangutan living in the Leuser Rainforest in Sumatra is a main victim of deforestation. I aim to rejuvenate the species by relocating a group of these orangutans.
Tetepare Island is part of the Solomon Islands located in the Solomon Sea. Tetepare island has a similar climate and vegetation to the Leuser Rainforest, and by relocating the species there, I know that the numbers will flourish, and the species will be safe from extinction.
Molly Boyle - Year 6
My experience this semester with Virtual Academy has included some tough times but overall I have enjoyed it. This semester I had some class mates to do Virtual Academy with so I could always get a little help if I needed it. My project was to make safer headgear for children when playing Rugby Union and League.
Timothy Collins - Year 6
This term in Virtual Academy I have been looking at how we can work better with nature. My topic was about Bali and I found out that Bali has no taps with running fresh drinking water. So instead, their only clean water is from plastic bottles and that results in lots of pollution. I undertook some research into this issue and created a solution. My creation has 5 sections that have water tanks with taps. The people will fill their already used bottles with water. My summary of working better with nature is that people don’t keep buying and throwing out plastic bottles and instead reusing bottles.
Kolby Barr - Year 5
‘Just One More’
When it’s raining outside and you’re being babysat by Grandma with no technology in the house, imaginations run wild with the possibility of a bookcase full of adventures.
Using every student from St Joseph’s Merewether we are thrilled to begin working on our original script ‘Just One More’. With drama pieces, musical numbers and some groovy dance moves this is a production that kids won’t soon forget.
Students have been busy designing posters that will be used to advertise our show. Tickets are going on sale early next term so keep an eye out for more exciting info to come!
A reminder that your school fees are now due and payable.
School Disco will be held in Week 1 of Term 3 on Wednesday 24 July. Note will being sent home with the children this week. Payments can be made on QKR.
Council of Catholic Schools Parent News
Uniform Price List
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