Canteen News

Wednesday 14th December is the last canteen order day for the year.
Canteen will be closed on Friday 15th of December. Sudents will only be able to purchase iceblocks at lunch and afternoon tea. 
Some canteen items may become unavailable as we near the end term. Thank you for your understanding.


What a Big week in Stem! 

Our Stage 2 students culminated their learning on Changing States of Matter by creating a Melting Crayon Canvas. Students planned their designs, brought in their crayons and melted them using hair dryers to create some amazing art.  Each student had a different design and they all turned out fantastic. Some students have decided to use them as Christmas presents for loved ones.  Well done Stage 2!

The Stage 3 team have been working to deepen their understanding of States of Matter and what is a mixture or a compound. They transferred their knowledge to the realm of baking and created some very delicious Christmas treats! Thank you to the families for funding this project as this is a favourite activity of the year and their time in STEM at Joey’s.

Sport News


The Compass Event for our school swimming carnival, along with the swimming nomination form for children 7-12 years (8-13 next year) are due this week. Please read this information carefully, and discuss competitive swimming with your child/ren before returning the note (children will be expected to swim the 50m length if competitive). These nominations must be handed in prior to Thursday. 

Please contact Linsey MacDonald if you are available for time keeper assistance on this day. 


Over the weekend, Brenden Latham represented the Far North Coast Surf Life Saving team at the NSW SLS Interbranch Championships in Fingal Beach.  Brenden's FNC team finished 4th overall and retained the Country Branches Trophy, helped along by Brendan winning the Beach Flags event for his age group.  Congratulations Brenden!

Learning & Teaching News


Recently, we've noticed a surge in the popularity of fidgets and sensory toys, bringing a lot of excitement with an ever-expanding variety. Here at St Joseph's, we've seen firsthand how these tools can be incredibly helpful for some of our students, aiding in their sensory and emotional regulation and consequently enhancing their learning and daily interactions.

However, it's essential to recognise that these tools might not be the best fit for everyone. In some cases, they could lead to distractions, loss of learning time, or even distress if they go missing or get damaged.

To foster a positive and effective environment, we want to emphasise the practical nature of these items as tools, not just toys, within our school. To achieve this, we're rolling out a careful process around their use, ensuring that the selection is thoughtful and tailored to the individual needs of each student.

Starting from the beginning of 2024, we're introducing a strategy at St Josephs to make the most of these tools while minimising unnecessary distractions. We're incorporating the use of sensory tools into individualised plans, which will be crafted by teachers in collaboration with students and parents. Whenever possible, these plans will also take into account the advice of health professionals, ensuring that the selected tools align with the student's needs and are used in the best possible way.

As we embark on this journey, your support is key. We believe a joint effort between the school and parents will bring the most positive outcomes. Your insights into your child's needs are invaluable, contributing significantly to the success of this initiative.

For some students, these supports are already integrated into individual plans. We plan to review all these plans with both students and parents in the initial months of 2024. However, some students may need a tailored plan written that includes these supports, and we kindly request your collaboration in this process.

In the meantime, we invite you to partner with us in helping your child understand the distinction between using these items as sensory tools and treating them as toys best kept at home. Your involvement in this aspect will greatly contribute to the effectiveness of this initiative.

Together, we can create an environment that fosters the well-being and success of every student at St Josephs.

Mrs Anna Moloney (Enrichment Co-ordinator)


The ‘Ten Frame’ is one of our most used strategies for addition and subtraction in the K-2 years. You can also use it to represent a number in different ways. The ‘Ten Frame’ supports your child in making connections between counting, adding, and subtracting.

The use of the objects in the frame visually helps your child with:

  • developing counting skills
  • quick recall of patterns to a number
  • a strong understanding of the numbers to ten.

Try these ten frame activities out at home: 

Parish News

Stage News

Stage 2 have filled our Christmas tree with 3 tiers of Vocab for our Christmas ‘poet-tree’ writing task!

Kindy wrote beautiful wishes as part of their learning in English based on the story ‘All I want for Christmas is rain’ by Cori Brooke

Library News


All student library books are now due back to the library. Borrowing for 2023 has now finished, thank you to all of the families who have supported their students in their reading. Students can return their books by dropping them into the library. The library will remain open this week before school and at lunch times for students.

Mission News


We would love to see all our families at our End of Year Mass & Year 6 Farewell on Thursday, 14th December at 1pm in the hall. All end of year awards will be presented after the Mass. The festivities will continue for Year 6 until hometime where they will be farewelled with a guard of honour from our school family. Please join us to celebrate this special occasion!


Thank you to all our students and families for coming along to our Christmas BBQ and Concert. Thank you to Mrs McCall for organising and practising our Year 6 cast. They did a fantastic job!  And to all our parent helpers on the BBQ, what a feat! Thank you!

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If you have any photos from the Christmas Concert and BBQ, that you would be willing to share, please email them to


Thank you to everyone who has so generously donated to the Vinnies Christmas appeal. It was a joy for these to be presented to Anne Kenny from our local Vinnies branch at the start of our Christmas concert last night.


Come along and enjoy Carols on the Plateau! Our choir will be singing and we would love to see our school family there.


Last Sunday marked the start of Advent. Advent is a time for preparing for Christmas, not just in our homes and schools by decorating but preparing our hearts to welcome a new Jesus into our lives. The theme for the first week of Advent is ‘hope’. Our students are all learning about Advent in their classrooms and praying to be people who share hope, peace, joy and love with everything that God has made.

Principal's News

It is hard to believe that we are in week 9, with only a few final days before we close out what has been a very busy year at St Joseph’s! I would like to thank all of our staff, students and families for their support this year. 


Monday’s Christmas Concert was a wonderful opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate the end of the year with fellowship, food and festivities. Thank you to all of the families who were able to join us. An enormous thank you to our staff who put a tremendous amount of effort into organising this event. Thank you to our parent volunteers who cooked 650 sausages for us on Monday afternoon! 


Next Thursday, we have our end-of-year Mass and prize-giving ceremony, as well as the graduation of our Year 6 students. This is a wonderful tradition to mark the end of the school year, and we look forward to celebrating this event from 1 pm. Parents and families are most welcome to join us. 


We are currently finalising the key dates for 2024 and the updates to the 2024 Parent Handbook. We will share both of these via Compass and the newsletter. We ask parents to please take time to read the Parent Handbook to ensure clarity around the school processes. 


School opens again on Tuesday 30th January for a staff administration day.

From Wednesday 31st January - Friday 2nd February, we have our Mathematics Assessment Interviews (MAI). We have worked incredibly hard to minimise the time needed for MAI assessments so we can begin the school year proper as soon as possible. The first day of school for Students in Years 1-6 will be Monday 5th February. Kinder begins on Tuesday 6th February. We will be in a position to open the Compass Conference bookings for parents in the next week. Keep an eye out on Compass. 


This Sunday, we entered the beautiful season of Advent, a time of preparation and anticipation in the Catholic Church. Advent, which derives its name from the Latin word "adventus," meaning "coming" or "arrival," is a period of joyful expectation as we await the birth of Jesus Christ. It serves as a reminder that, just as Mary and Joseph prepared for the arrival of the Messiah, we too should prepare our hearts and minds to welcome Jesus into our lives in a deeper and more meaningful way.

As we begin this Advent journey, our school community is enveloped in a spirit of hope, peace, joy, and love. These four candles on our Advent wreath symbolise the four weeks of Advent, with each candle representing one of these essential aspects of our faith. In our school, we embrace the Advent season as a time to:

Reflect: We encourage our students to take a moment each day for personal reflection and prayer. This self-examination helps us grow closer to God and appreciate the true meaning of Christmas.

Give: Advent is also a season of giving. We thank all families for their generous donations to our St. Vincent de Paul appeal, which will help local families during the Christmas season. 

Celebrate: We come together as a community during Advent to celebrate the birth of Jesus through special liturgical events, our Christmas concert, and class activities. It's a time to share in the joy of the season with one another.

Prepare: Lastly, Advent reminds us of the importance of preparation. Just as we decorate our homes and classrooms, we also prepare our hearts to receive Jesus more fully into our lives.

This Sunday, our family decorated our Christmas tree, and I would like to share a tradition that is important in our household. Each Christmas, after we decorate our tree, we also put out our nativity scene. After we place our donkey, lamb and ox, our wise men and shepherds, our angels and Mary and Joseph, we do something special with the baby Jesus. Instead of laying him in the manger, we wrap him in Christmas paper and place him under our tree. This helps my children to remember that we are in the season of Advent and that we are still waiting for Jesus to enter into the world in a special way. On Christmas morning, he is the first present our family unwraps together, and we then place him in the manger. This small act helps our family remember that the true meaning of Christmas is a God who loves us all so much that he sent his only son to be born weak and frail in the stable of a house in a tiny village in a small corner of the vast Roman empire to act as our salvation. 

I wish you all a blessed Advent season filled with hope, peace, joy, and love and illuminated by the pure and vibrant light of Christ.


On Wednesday, our Gold Award recipients joined us for afternoon tea. This was a terrific opportunity to celebrate how consistently these students live out our school values of Safety, Effort, Respect and Self-responsibility. It was lovely to talk to these students to hear what they felt helped them to be recognised as someone who can be seen as a role model in our school community. Below are some photos of our shared afternoon tea. I asked some of our older students to share what they felt were the most important things for other students to know to help them earn a Gold Award, too. 


Tuition Fees for 2024 have now been approved and are as follows: 

  • 1 Student - $1,320.00
  • 2 Students - $2,508.00
  • 3 Students - $3,366.00
  • 4 Students - $3,696.00

2024 Fees and Levies
Levies for 2024 are as outlined below:

  • Technology Fee - $145.00 - per child per annum 
  • Building Levy - $750.00 - per family per annum
  • Fundraising Levy  - $110.00 - per family per annum

Please see below for a letter from the Director of Catholic Schools and Chair of the Diocese of Lismore, Catholic Schools Limited Board.


Semester 2 Academic Reports will be released on Compass this coming Friday 8th December. Please note the changes the Catholic Schools Office has made to reports - you can re-read this here. This has necessitated a change in the way our report comments have been constructed. We have not held formal Learning Conversations with students, but our teachers have worked to capture your child’s voice and include this as a part of the clear goals our teachers have expressed in the report comments they have composed. We feel that these comments offer parents clarity about what their child knows, understands and can do and where some next steps are for them in their learning. 

Please note that we do not have a formal Parent-Student-Teacher Conference period for this reporting period. However, if you would like to discuss your child’s report with their teacher, please email them directly to arrange a short meeting time or to touch base over the phone. 

For 2024, we have arranged a Parent-Student-Teacher Conference in Week 6 of Term 1. This is an excellent opportunity for our teachers to work collaboratively with students and parents around learning goals, to discuss early progress and the results of our standardised assessments and for parents to ask any questions they have about the child’s learning. 

As we enter the Christmas season and we begin to give Christmas cards to our friends it's important to remember that candy canes and lollies are not to be handed out at school. We have students who are allergic to certain foods, therefore, our blanket rule is no candy canes at school. We thank you for supporting this in the final weeks of school.


Term 4 accounts were invoiced in Week 1 and are due for payment by October 31. Bringing your attention to this and additionally, that our school fee schedule states all fees are to be paid in full by November 30, 2023.  If you are experiencing financial difficulties, please make urgent contact with Mr Challinor to arrange a meeting to discuss.


Happy birthday to these students who have celebrated their birthday since the last newsletter:

  • Jovie Speidel
  • Nadia Earley
  • Amalia Gooley

Coming Events

Use the link above to see all of the coming events for Joeys!


A reminder the boom gate at the school carpark closes from 8:30am to 9:15am and 3:00pm to 3:45pm every day. This forms part of our Traffic Management Plan and is to ensure the safety of our students. We advise parents and visitors to park on the street if arriving at these times. The boom gate can not be opened to let cars out. This is particularly important on Assembly Friday's, as a general rule, please do not park in the carpark to avoid the issue of the closed boomgate.

Wellbeing News


We are delighted to share that our Celebration session will be on Thursday, 7th December from 8 - 8.45am. BBQ bacon and egg rolls will be supplied.  Please feel free to bring a plate to share! We look forward to celebrating all the learning of our Seasons participants from this term.



Congratulations to our STEM Academy graduates, Mr Crosby, Mrs Moloney, Miss MacDonald and Mrs Crosby. Throughout the year, In partnership with Sydney University, these staff members have completed a range of professional development based on STEM education.  They presented their learning to other participating schools from around the Northern Rivers. The focus was about our integrated STEM and Geography project with our Stage 2 students. We are really proud of their achievement.

Sport News


The Compass Event for our school swimming carnival, along with the swimming nomination form for children 7-12 years (8-13 next year) will be posted in the coming week for families. Please read this information carefully, and discuss competitive swimming with your child/ren before returning the note (children will be expected to swim the 50m length if competitive). 

Please contact Linsey MacDonald if you are available for time keeper assistance on this day. 


Over the last couple of weeks Harry Hosking, Maeve Crook, Sully Mitchell and Dannon Pucci- McDermott participated in the Diocesan Summer Sports Trials. We congratulate these children on their efforts. 


Goodluck to Brenden Latham, Year 6, who will be competing in Newcastle with the  2023 Far North Coast Surf Life Saving Interbranch team this weekend! We wish him luck and look forward to hearing how he goes.

Learning & Teaching News


ABC Education has a new, fun and exciting way for primary students to practise and extend their mathematical thinking and skills. The games are designed to engage students and help teach important mathematics concepts. 

In THUNDERGOATS, students can select number lines and tens frames to support their thinking and calculations, and to support partitioning and recombining of numbers.

In GREATEST OF ALL THIEVES, students estimate and consider different ways of organising quantities to efficiently calculate how many objects are in a collection.

In GOAT TO BED, students use a 4 x 5 array to assist with calculating quantities, engage with ideas of equivalence and make predictions.

In GOAT GROMMETS, students use and discuss mental calculation strategies to keep track of a running total, and to consider the trade-off between risk and reward.

In GOAT SQUAD, students use their knowledge of number combinations to 20 and flexibly modify their game strategy.

Parish News