In reflecting on things over this last week one word that keeps circling around in my head is ‘gratitude’. I feel very strongly that there is so much that I have to be grateful for and I would like to share with you some of these things that are connected to our St Joseph’s community
I am so grateful for our school being the recipient of the My Community Project Grant. What a difference this money is going to make to our school and the children’s daily life at school!
I am grateful for Vanessa Shrewsbury, mother of Emma (Yr3) and James (Yr2), who initiated the application for this grant and for the team of parents and staff who are part of the playground committee and who have been tirelessly working behind the scenes.
I am grateful for our Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Diocese for sponsoring our application and helping us to get all the necessary documentation required for us to proceed with the application.
I am grateful for the children going home and ‘badgering’ you all to vote and I am extremely grateful to you for listening to their request and going to the trouble of voting for the project.
I am very grateful for all the people in the community that you reached out to and also encouraged, cajoled and enticed to vote for us and I ask that you pass on our thanks to all those families, friends, colleagues and acquaintances that supported us.
I am extremely grateful for those who have gone to extraordinary lengths to organise Friday night’s Ball. It is sure to be a memorable evening and an event that will be instrumental in raising the additional money required to fulfill our playground vision.
I am grateful for the community that I am now very much a part of and for the many big and little, open and discreet things that people do for me and for others in our community.
I will leave you now with the following quote and prayer and encourage you to reflect on what you are grateful for at this point in time.
“There’s always something for which to feel grateful.
If you can’t find a reason to say thank you, recite this powerful gratitude prayer.
-Thank you for all that I am, all that I have and all that I receive.
My Community Project Grant
Throughout New South Wales there were over 61,000 votes for the various My Community Project grant applications. In our local Newcastle electorate our project
received the most votes with an overall point score of 2 759. Our vision of a multi-purpose all-weather greenspace for kids was successful in the public vote and will receive funding of $143,000 to help support healthy communities in the Newcastle electorate.
This grant has been made possible through the New South Wales government who are investing a total of $24.7 million in projects that will help improve the wellbeing of people and communities across NSW.
My Community Project has been made possible by the NSW Generations Fund. This fund helps keep the state’s debt at a sustainable level, while sharing the benefits of its returns with the people of NSW by funding community projects.
The students and staff have been consulted in regard to the design of the playground and the results of this are being used to formulate the final design plan. We will continue to update you about the project as we progress through the next stages.
Protective Behaviours Resources
There is nothing so awful that we can’t talk about it. Everybody has the right to feel safe all of the time.
When we think about the safety of children, we need to look at two keys areas:
- that children understand and recognise when they are not feeling safe
- that children know who to turn to when they don’t feel safe.
In light of National Child Protection Week, the Office of Safeguarding: Prevention and Response Service has developed a number of online resources specifically designed for each age group to help educate parents, and children and young people about protective behaviours including healthy relationships, sexual development and risk taking.
These websites can be accessed by using the web addresses below:
HIGH SCHOOL AGE padlet.com/ZS_2/pb_high_school
PRIMARY SCHOOL AGE padlet.com/ZS_2/pb_primary_school
PRESCHOOL AGE padlet.com/ZS_2/pb_preschool
If you’ve got some time to spare on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday and would like to help out in the canteen as well as connect with other parents and help to provide a service to our children then please consider signing up for volunteering in the canteen for Term 4. Please do not worry if you have never done this before. It is quite simple and Kellie, our canteen manager, and the experienced volunteers will support you all the way. If you have managed to prepare a sandwich, heat up something in the oven or find ice blocks in the bottom of the freezer then you are well qualified for this role.
To sign up as a volunteer all you need to do is:
- Go to https://signup.zone/Z8qkYDgjntkNmz78S - This is our Sign Up Zone Term 4 roster.
- Enter your name in the boxes for the dates and shifts that you can volunteer for.
- This link will be locked at the end of Week 1 Term 4 so that names cannot be deleted. We ask that you do not delete or move anyone’s names as they will have recorded their shift/s and be expecting to be on.
- Once the roster is locked any swaps or replacements required need to be done by the individual.
Please remember that all volunteers at St Joseph’s are required to have a Working With Children Check number and to have undertaken a Volunteers Induction session. If you would like to volunteer but do not meet these requirements, please contact the office.
In our next newsletter we will provide you with an easy to follow canteen menu for Term 4. Please note that from next term the canteen will be open from 11:05am to 11:20am for the children to purchase over-the-counter snacks such as ice blocks, fruit and rice crackers. For the volunteers this means that the lunchtime shift will finish after this serving period.
All canteen information from now on will be via Compass, the official school Facebook page or the school newsletter.
Refugee Hub Request
CatholicCare/DARA Refugee Hub in Mayfield, who support local refugee families resettling in the Newcastle area need our support. They require donations of some very specific items:
- Two double prams suitable for a newborn and a toddler
- New or high quality second-hand baby clothes for newborn (onesie suits for warm weather especially)
- Two small baby cots that meet current safety standards
- Two baby carriers
- Baby wraps and lightweight blankets
- New milk bottles and teats suitable for newborns
- Nappies for newborns
- Formula for newborns
They would be very grateful if anyone is able to help in supplying these items. Unfortunately they can ONLY accept the items above. If you would like to donate additional items, this needs to be done through Vinnies. The Hub has a working relationship with Vinnies and refers their clients there for additional support.
If you have any of these items please contact the office and/or drop them off at school and we will arrange collection.
Just a reminder that from next Monday 16th September all children will be required to wear their summer school uniform. Please remember that black school shoes are part of the uniform as opposed to black trainers. It has been noticed that quite a lot of jewellery is being worn by a number of the students including bracelets, friendship bands and inappropriate earrings. Please check each morning that your children are not wearing to school items that are not part of our school uniform. A number of our boys, in particular, are in need of a haircut or of tying their hair back. If your child’s hair is falling across their eyes it is a sign that it needs to be cut as this impacts upon their learning, particularly when reading.
On Monday 23rd September school photos will be taken. Students need to be in their full summer uniform for this. Please remember to send in your photo envelopes with payment on the day.
We are very excited about the upcoming musical, “Just One More” next week. Judging by the ticket sales we believe you are equally as excited as us. If the tunes, moves and props that I have been hearing and seeing over the last few weeks are anything to go by, we are in for a sensational treat. I look forward to seeing many of you at either the matinee or evening performance. If you haven’t yet purchased tickets and would like to, you will need to get in fast as there are only limited seats left.
Save the Dates
We ask that you put into your diaries the following dates:
- Working Bee, BBQ & Barefoot Bowls day-Sunday 27th October
- High Tea @ Rydges Saturday 19th October 1pm-4pm
Further information will come your way shortly.
|16 September||Summer Uniform|
|17 September||ICAS - English|
|18 September||School Musical||St Pius X - 11.00am|
|19 September||School Musical||St Pius X - 6.00pm|
|20 September||Year 1 Mass||St Joseph's Church - 10.15am|
|23 September||School Photos|
|24 September||Public Speaking Competition||School Hall|
|26 September||Kindergarten Grade Sharing||School Hall - 2.15pm|
|27 September||Kindergarten Mass||St Joseph's Church - 10.15am|
|27 September||Last Day of Term 3|
|14 October||Term 4 commences|
We have received an update from Carmel Tapley, a CSO Education Officer, that due to a number of data irregularities NAPLAN results will be released next week. Once we receive results, we will send them home with the students. Our school executive and writing coaches, Leanne Skinner and Nicola Matheson, will be attending an afternoon NAPLAN analysis workshop to identify our school strengths and areas to focus on based on our 2019 data. Please consider that your child’s results are representative of one test on one day. If you have any questions about the report, please arrange an appointment to see your child’s teacher. To assist with understanding your child’s report, please visit https://nap.edu.au/docs/default-source/default-document-library/individual-student-reports-faqs.pdf?sfvrsn=2
Public Speaking continues to be a focus in Term 3. By now students have participated in class, grade and stage competitions. Early next week we will know which five students from each stage will present at the school based Public Speaking Competition. Our school competition is going to be held on Tuesday, 24 September. Parents, particularly those who have children speaking, are welcome to join us. Once our talented public speakers are finalised, more information will be passed on to their parents.
Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL)
Our journey towards becoming a Positive Behaviour for Learning school is well underway. PBL is a comprehensive, integrated whole school approach to student wellbeing and behaviour. PBL is a process that supports school leadership teams to create positive learning environments that enable student learning and wellbeing. All St Joseph staff, in particular our PBL committee, have spent many hours laying the foundation for our school wide approach to positive behaviour. We hope to shortly formally introduce all students to our school mascot, Dash the Dolphin. Dash will help us unpack our four behavioural expectations:
- Act Safely
- Be Respectful
- Care for All
- Do You Best
We are currently receiving quotes for visual signage of Dash and the four expectations around the school. Students will also shortly receive information around how we are going to be using tokens to reward positive behaviour as we see it. These tokens will be collected in colour house groups and special rewards will be given throughout the term for leading houses. In regard to supporting students who make poor choices we have developed a framework that is comprehensive and explicit around the procedures we will follow. This will help ensure consistency when working through particular incidents. This too will be shared with students and parents in the near future. Introducing a new initiative like this is a lengthy process as we would like to make sure it is implemented correctly to ensure it is sustainable over time.
Our Student Council had a very productive meeting last week! It was great to have the Semester 2 Councillors together to brainstorm different initiative ideas they
have. Students suggested ideas such as
- A pump for the sporting equipment
- Changing the bell music
- Including an electric piano in the school band
- More stable soccer goals
- Bringing back Fan Dangles in the school canteen
Student Councillors have formed small teams to work on the above ideas and will report back to the group at the next meeting.
At the meeting students also had a look at the PBL Response Strategies Flowchart and suggested very reasonable ideas for ways we can encourage all students to do the right things at school. Overall, a very productive meeting. Thank you Councillors!
Term 3 Progress Reports
As we are coming towards the end of Term 3, class teachers are filling out Progress Reports. These Progress Reports aim to give parents an understanding of their child’s effort and application as well as their child’s interest and motivation across all Key Learning Areas. Progress Reports will be made available to parents on Friday, 20 September 2019. Please take the time to read over the report with your child and discuss their strengths and possibly areas of focus. If you would like to discuss a particular area of your child’s effort and application at school, please arrange an interview time with your child's class teacher.
Year 6 St Pius X Sports Day
On Thursday, the 5th of September Year 6 went to St Pius X for a sports day. There were a lot of different schools there and we were all assigned Year 10 leaders to help and guide us around the school. Throughout the day we did 12 different sports. All the sports were really good, but my favourite two sports were dodge ball and golden child (a modified basketball game). All the teachers and student made us feel very welcome. I had a really good day at St Pius X and I am very excited to go there next year! - Daisy Breasley
On Thursday the 5th of September Year Six went to St Pius X for a fun day of sports, an opportunity to make new friends and a chance to eat yummy food from the Pius canteen as well as having a delicious sausage sizzle and a juice popper. There were many different schools from around Newcastle and we were each put in school groups with a Year 10 student to show us around the school and walk us to each different tabloid sport. Throughout the day we got to play 12 different sports but the 2 sports that stood out the most to me were street netball and beach volleyball.
With each sport we played a group from another school played with us and throughout the day we each met new people that we might go to school with next year. All the teachers and the students at St Pius X made us all feel welcome. I had a great day at St Pius X and can’t wait to go to school there next year. - Avalon Amodio
Prayer for Turning on the Light of Christ
God with us,
You have made us in your image and filled us with your love
Through the life of Jesus you show us the way to be merciful
As you are merciful.
Where people are ‘put down’
May we shine the light of your strength.
Where there is dishonesty and denial
May we shine the light of your truth.
Where there is fear
May we shine the light of your peace.
Where there is judgement
May we shine the light of your compassion.
Where there is disrespect
May we shine the light of your love.
Where people feel silenced
May we shine the light of your word.
Where people feel excluded
May we shine the light of your acceptance.
Where there is sin
May we shine the light of your forgiveness.
Perpetual Day of Remembrance
As part of The Atonement: Lina’s Project, Bishop Bill established September 15th as a Perpetual Day of Remembrance throughout our Diocese. Such a day holds before us our history of child sexual abuse and the reality of its continual unfolding in the lives
of those directly and indirectly affected. We have been asked by Bishop Bill to commemorate this day:
"The Perpetual Day of Remembrance is an act of solemn remembrance of a great human tragedy, marked by sadness for those who suffered, certainly, but also an occasion to commit ourselves to remembering what happened so as not to allow those things to be repeated. It is, in that respect, not unlike Remembrance Day itself, or Anzac Day: ‘Lest we Forget’."
It is equally important that the Church mark this day with prayer, ritual and worship. As a people of faith, commissioned by Jesus to live in remembrance of him, we know the importance of remembering. Our remembering not only functions to ensure that such abuse never happens again, more than that, it is penetrated with the light of Christ’s Paschal Mystery and so becomes the source of our ongoing conversation and hope.
St. Paul articulated it this way: when one member suffers in the body of Christ which is the Church, all the members suffer with that member (1 Cor 12:26). Our place as baptised members of the Body of Christ is to stand with them and against all forms of abuse. Our responsibility is to pray with and for them, and for the change of heart that is necessary to stop abuse of any kind.
(Catholic Diocese of Maitland Newcastle, Church Community Resources, Shine the Light of Christ, 2019, p. 3).
Each class will hold a special prayer and blessing on Monday 16th September to commemorate the Perpetual Day of Remembrance. St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School believes it is best for our students to participate in prayer and blessing designed to remind children that God is always with them and will always love us regardless of anything that we say or do and is with us throughout everything we experience and encounter in our lives.
Our role as faithful followers of Jesus is to Shine the Light of Christ in our everyday actions towards one another. To be strong and peaceful people who identify when another is hurting and to help them, to empathise with them and to support them.
We further display our understanding of our faith by loving and caring each other; by respecting each other and showing this in the kind and thoughtful words we say; by placing others and their needs ahead of our own; by praying for people who need us to remember them; by putting time aside to help another even when it seems too hard.
This prayer and blessing will not be explicit in naming the time of Child Sexual Abuse as the thing being commemorated. The focus of the Word is on the Mercy Of God, that tender compassion of our God for all his creatures, his concern for those who suffer.
On Saturday evening, September 14, we encourage you to leave a light on, to shine the light of Christ, a light of solidarity and hope https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0_leAHMz2M
Year 6 Religious Education Literacy Test
In Week 10 this term, children from Year 6 will participate in the Year 6 Religious Education Test. The assessment of Catholic Religious Literacy takes place annually across all schools in the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese. This year the students will be completing the new test that has been devised by Religious Education & Spirituality team from the Catholic Schools Office here in our diocese. This means, the questions have been specifically designed around the RE curriculum taught here in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. It focuses on students’ knowledge and understanding of key concepts that are addressed in the Religious Education program, the achievement of the outcomes set out in the Diocesan Religion Education syllabus, and the ability of students to communicate this knowledge and understanding about the Catholic tradition. The data produced from the various testing instruments is designed to give Religious Education teachers meaningful feedback about the students’ learning and to assist in developing effective Religious Education lessons.
Term 3 Class Mass Timetable
Parents and family are warmly invited to join Parish Mass each Friday at 10:15am. The timetable below indicates when each grade will attend Parish Mass this term.
|20 September||Year 1 attending Mass|
|27 September||Kindergarten attending Mass|
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
Netball Gala Day
On Tuesday the 3rd of September 2019, Years 4, 5 and 6 headed off the netball courts.
There was a tent for us set up from one of the schools parents, and we thank them for doing that for us as it was a very hot day! The day was great fun! Thanks to all of the coaches and all to the parents that came to cheer us on. The games went for 14 minutes but it felt like 5 but time flies when we are having fun. Overall everyone had a fantastic day with great scores.
(Lucy Webber and Shiloh Flynn: Year 4)
Each Wednesday for 7 weeks, we have been training at National Park in the lead up for the Netball Gala Day. The Gala Day was full of fun and effort.
We played 9 games in total. We won 7, lost 2 and drew 1. The day was full of fun and laughter!
We would like to thank Meg Sessions for coaching and supporting us. We would also like to thank Julie Session for scoring throughout the day. We would also like to thank Miss Slattery for organising the day.
(Hannah Hazel and Charlotte Sessions: Year 5)
Our school participates in a Netball Gala Day every year for those students in Years 4, 5 and 6. The Gala Day was a fun and exciting experience. To make this awesome day happen, the teams trained at the netball courts every Wednesday for 7 weeks in preparation. However, this fun day would definitely not been possible without the help of our teachers, coaches and parents. So with much appreciation we say thank you!
The day was a fantastic day for all involved - we had many wins but most importantly we had FUN!!
(Zoe Di Nardo and Ayla Flynn :Year 6)
Polding Athletics: Friday 16th October
St Joseph’s Sports Committee
Kindergarten Blackbutt Excursion
On Monday 2nd September Kindergarten went on an excursion to Blackbutt and Richley Reserve. This was part of their Science unit “All Things Living”.
During their time at Blackbutt the children undertook guided tours where they observed the animals, what they eat to survive, their shelters and the environment they live in. They then completed the day at Richley Reserve for lunch and a play in the large playground.
The day was enjoyed by all students and we thank the parent volunteers who were able to assist on the day.
Here are some of the student highlights from the excursion.
“I liked looking at the wallabies.” Juliette KG
“I liked the wombats Clyde and Sally. Sally was cranky and made a noise, I also liked the big slide at the park.” Max KB
“I loved the awesome playground!” Oliver KW
First Lego League
After the success of our two FLL Into Orbit teams last year where our rookie team the Merewether Meteors progressed to the NSW State Championship, we are very much looking forward the 2019/20 season of FLL.
This year’s First Lego League (FLL) competition is upon us. The school is supporting two teams again this year – Merewether Masters and Merewether Magic. The students selected from Years 5 and 6 have been working hard in their teams on this year’s City Shaper FLL challenge since the international launch on August 1st 2019.
Our Regional Competition Event this year is Sunday 24th November at The University of Newcastle, Ourimbah Campus.
The competition involves 3 equally judged challenges: the research project and presentation, robot design and programming to complete game board missions, and lastly, they will be judged as a team on the FLL core values of gracious professionalism and teamwork.
This year we require your help! We are asking for any parent or community assistance to support the children particularly with their project. This involves engaging with experts in the field of community public space and building design and structure, for example, builders, architects, members of Newcastle Council, engineers etc.
This year, as the P&F are busy raising funds for other important school initiatives, so we are looking for local businesses to sponsor the FLL teams this year. We require sponsorship to assist with team shirts, costumes/accessories for the day and project resources. We are asking for local businesses to sponsor the team with a commitment of 3 years. This means, the team shirts will be produced for the teams to wear over the next 3 years. The business logo will be printed on these team shirts as advertising. We are looking for sponsorship from approximately 5 businesses with a sponsorship donation of $50-$200 per business. Please get in contact with the school or Miss Colvin if you can assist or can recommend businesses that may be interested in supporting the teams. Thank you for your continued support.
The Premier’s Reading Challenge has finished for 2019. The following children answered the challenge: Katharina Merlo, Lucas Ponte, Isaac Leonard, Lucia Merlo, Zoe Di Nardo, Lila Kiem, Digby Wildschut, Thomas Boyle, Rory Martin, Sofia Halverson, Luca Wildschut, Ivy Kiem, Poppy Wildschut, Cailen Moran, Zara Dunleavy, Alex Seysener and Juliette Seysener. Well done!
Congratulations to all the students who answered the challenge this year. Certificates usually arrive in week 8 of Term 4.
Unfortunately there are a few students with very overdue loans. It would be good to have all overdue books returned or paid for by the end of term. Notices will be sent home this week. If the book cannot be returned to school then the replacement value must be paid at the office.
Congratulations to the majority of our students who borrow and return their books regularly.
School Fees are now due and payable. For enquiries regarding outstanding accounts please contact the office.
The children have now received their photo order forms. Please return these on the day of the photos with your child. Sibling order forms are available for collection from the office.