2023 Term 2 Week 2
Catholic Schools Week
This week we celebrate Catholic School Week, with the theme of ‘Living our Mission’. Catholic education in Australia has been described as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the Australian Church, with the first Catholic school founded in Parramatta in 1820. We are privileged at St Joseph’s to carry forward this great legacy as we continue to live out the mission of the church in our classrooms each day.
This week we remember our place in this terrific tradition. We invite parents and carers to join our classrooms this Thursday afternoon from 2:20pm to participate in the learning activities with their child. We also invite parents to join us for our Catholic Schools Week-themed assembly on Friday at 2:30pm.
We hope you can join us to celebrate this important event.
Tell Them From Me - Partners in Learning Surveys
Over the next two weeks, we will be inviting students, teachers and parents to provide feedback on their experience of our school using an online survey. The surveys are an important part of our whole school evaluation and planning process.
We would like to invite you to complete the Tell Them From Me (TTFM) Partners in Learning survey. As we value the role of parents and carers within our school community, we would greatly appreciate your feedback. The information you provide will be used to continue our commitment to working together in partnership, to further improve student learning and wellbeing at St Joseph's Primary School. The survey is anonymous and will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.
Note that most responses are multiple-choice using a scale from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. It can be quite easy to mix this scale up when completing the survey. Please take your time to read the questions carefully, so we have the most accurate data we can attain.
You are able to access the parent survey on your computer or mobile device by using this URL: tellthemfromme.com/joeysalstonville2023 We also have a device available at the school office for parents to use to complete the survey, if this is more convenient.
Thank you for sharing your voice to help us guide our school forward.
New School Website and Newsletter
We have recently relaunched our new website and we invite you to take a look. I would like to thank Ros Kingsford for her significant work in supporting the shift to this new website.
As you are reading this, it will be clear that we have moved to the new Schoolzine digital newsletter. This platform allows for easy viewing, especially on mobile devices. We will continue with a weekly newsletter for Term 2 and review this as we move into Semester 2.
School Enrolment Open Day
Based on feedback from parents, indicating that sometimes evening events can be challenging to attend with work and extracurricular commitments, we have decided to hold an open morning on a Sunday as a part of our enrolment drive this year.
We will open the school and learning spaces up on Sunday, 21 May from 10:00am - 12:00pm. This will provide prospective families with an opportunity to tour our school, for young people to engage in some activities in the Kindergarten classroom and for families to meet staff members.
A poster to advertise the open morning is found below. We would love families to share this with families they know who may be interested in joining our school community in 2024.
Regular attendance at school for every student is essential. Student non-attendance at school places the student’s learning, social and emotional growth at risk. Thank you to our parents for the support and value you place on your child being at school each day. Regular school attendance plays a critical role in ensuring that every student has access to the same learning opportunities. Our school’s attendance goal for all students is 95%. Our data currently indicate that we have a significant number of students whose attendance in Term 1 was well below an acceptable level.
Schools in partnerships with families are responsible for promoting the regular attendance of students and for ensuring that non-attendance is addressed effectively. While families are legally responsible for the regular attendance of their children, the school, as part of our duty of care, is required to record and monitor part and whole-day absences. The school has legal obligations to follow up with the family and legal departments when non-attendance becomes and continues to be a concern.
We ask that if your child is absent due to illness or going to be absent, that you please notify the school either by: using Compass to submit an Attendance Note (preferred option), (instructions on how to submit an Attendance Note using Compass can be found on our website under Parent & Families); emailing the school email; phone call; or by responding to the text message that is sent by Compass.
Go gently and with love, Kurt Challinor
Emergency Management Planning
The safety of our students, families, and staﬀ is our highest priority. In order to best ensure this, the St Joseph’s, Alstonville leadership and staﬀ, supported by the Catholic Schools Oﬃce, plan for a number of possible incidents, emergencies or natural disasters which could take place at school or during the school term. The events of recent years have reinforced how important this planning is, and we all have a role to play when it comes to emergency management, including families.
Our students participate in various safety drills, and staﬀ participate through training and safety drills. We’d like to share with you the role of parents and families in emergency management.
A number of the situations we plan for include a school lockdown as one of the immediate safety actions to ensure the safety of our students and staﬀ. We understand that some may understand the word ‘lockdown’ to mean there is an immediate safety risk to all students. It is important to understand that when a school initiates a lockdown, this may not be the case.
Depending on the situation, the purpose of a school lockdown will diﬀer. A school lockdown may be a preparation step for an evacuation, or a school lockdown may allow emergency services access to an area of the school without having to navigate past students. Regardless of the purpose of a school lockdown, no one can be admitted to the school grounds other than emergency services.
Should we initiate a school lockdown, parents and families will be informed via text message and COMPASS notiﬁcation. We will also inform parents and families as soon as the school lockdown has been lifted or if there are any actions required of parents and families. It is important that you do not attempt to attend the school during a school lockdown. We understand that you may be concerned; however, attending the school may also add risk to a possible emergency situation, block emergency services or impede an evacuation.
In the event of a natural disaster, such as ﬂood or bushﬁre, the school leadership, supported by the Catholic Schools Oﬃce, will determine if it is safe for the school to open. If there is a probability the school may have to close part way through the day, the school will not open for that day as it is extremely diﬃcult to evacuate a school site and ensure all students are able to go directly home safely.
In a bush ﬁre or ﬂood event, it is important that parents and families have a plan to get your child/ren home from school, or into your care, at short notice. Please be aware that school buses may not be running, and the school cannot allow your child/ren to go home to an empty house or home with another parent without your permission.
How can you help us prepare for emergency situations? Please ensure that:
- You have downloaded COMPASS and have allowed notiﬁcations.
- Any changes to your contact details or custodial arrangements have been updated with the school.
- In the event of a school lockdown or evacuation, directions in the parent notiﬁcations are followed.
It is always our hope that these measures will never be needed, but it is also our responsibility to ensure our school community is prepared and informed should the need arise.
We thank you in advance for your support and cooperation.
Kurt Challinor & Nigel McIntyre, Work Health & Safety Manager, Catholic Schools Oﬃce
Acknowledgement to Country
Jingi Walla ( Jin-gee-wah-la ) Hello….
As we journey on this land of the Bundjalung Nation on which St Joseph’s stands, we pay our respects to the Elders - the past, present and emerging leaders of the Bundjalung Nation. We acknowledge and respect their culture, their heritage and their beliefs as stewards of the land, sea, the earth and heavens, animals and vegetation.
Congratulations to all our students who were Confirmed last Thursday by Bishop Greg. Our sincere gratitude to Fr Max for his guidance and support of all our candidates and their families and our special thanks to Tanya in the Parish Office for her incredible ‘behind the scenes’ preparation.
Our Formation Day was one of great learning and growth together. Our candidates learned more about the Sacrament of Confirmation and the gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in their lives. Thank you to our wonderful parents and grandparents who served our candidates and Year 3 a delicious morning tea and BBQ lunch!
Learning & Teaching News
Our school Learning and Teaching goal is to :
Improve student growth in reading and writing through embedding evidence-based whole-school agreed pedagogical practices.
Two areas of research that have been of recent focus for staff is the ‘Reading Rope’ and the ‘Writing Rope’.
The Reading Rope is a visual representation of the many strands woven into skilled reading. This visual is a useful tool for parents and educators, as we determine best practices in reading instruction and think about how our students develop as readers.
The Reading Rope is divided into two parts, focusing on Language Comprehension and Word Recognition. According to Scarborough (2018), “Weakness in ANY strand can disrupt reading, and weakness in SEVERAL strands can disrupt reading more.” We can use the Reading Rope to guide our instruction and intervention.
WriteOn 2023 Competition
WriteOn is an annual writing competition open to all NSW primary students in Years 1 to 6. The competition provides students with the opportunity to become published authors and showcase their creativity.
Using the photograph for inspiration, students write a short, imaginative piece of up to 500 words. Imaginative pieces may include:
- journal entries
When assessing entries, judges use the following criteria:
- makes connections to the stimulus image
- engages the audience in imaginative, interpretive, emotive and/or creative ways
- maintains a consistent structure appropriate for the type of text selected
- uses a range of strategies to engage the intended audience
- uses a variety of language forms and features, vocabulary and punctuation
- considers the context, purpose and audience
- includes age-appropriate content
- is within the 500 word limit
Only one entry from each Stage can be submitted per school. For those interested in taking up the challenge, please hand in your entry to Mr Crosby. Entries CLOSE: Friday, 9 June.
Another writing opportunity...
Richmond Zone Cross Country
Good luck to the students competing at the Richmond Zone Cross Country tomorrow, Wednesday 3 May, at Hepburn Park, Goonellabah. Permission and payment is due today.
The bus is set to depart from school at 9am. Students are required to be at school to be marked on the roll at 8:45am.
Competition singlets have been handed out to students today. These are to be washed and returned to school by next Monday, 8 May.
Details of the schedule and track have now been added to the Event Resources.
Football Fun after School
Students in Years 1 - 4 who expressed an interest, received a flyer yesterday about a Football (soccer) clinic which will be held on the school grounds on Wednesday afternoons this Term, from 3:30pm to 4:30pm. Please complete the slip on the flyer and return to the school office in an envelope marked "WB Soccer" by this Friday, 5 May. There is a limit of 16 places...so first in, best dressed!
Stage 1 Excursion
This term, Stage 1 students are learning about animals in a local context. On Thursday, 11 May, Stage 1 will be travelling by bus to Ballina to the Australian Sea Bird and Turtle Rescue for their STEM unit on Living Things. They will be learning about turtles in our local environment, their habitats, biodiversity and risks to the species. We will leave St Joseph's at 9:15am and return by 11:30 in time for lunch. Cost $15 (includes $8 entry fee and $7 bus).
This Event will be published on Compass this week. We ask parents to act on it as soon as possible.
Mothers' Day Stall
Our Mothers' Day Stall will be held NEXT Thursday, 11 May.
Each Stage will be given the opportunity to visit the stall. (Stage 1 students will be able to make purchases after they return from their STEM excursion.)
Prices range from $1 to $8. Cards and gift bags are also available for purchase.
Each student who wishes to purchase gifts must bring money on the day. The stall will also be open during the lunch break for those who wish to purchase more items. Anyone who purchases an item automatically goes into the draw for our Mothers' Day Raffle.
Mothers' Day Gift options
For Your Information
Bookclub Issue 3: Orders close 9am Wednesday, 10 May. Orders can be made online using L.O.O.P -. Go to: www.scholastic.com.au/LOOP to register and order.
Year 6 Shirts: All students have now received their Year 6 Shirts (with the exception of 1 backorder). Thank you once again to Teena Cooper for volunteering to co-ordinate this opportunity for the students. No further orders will be taken.