23 May 2023 (Term 2 Week 5)
Dear St Joseph’s Community
This coming Sunday, we mark the end of 50 days after we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus and the end of the Easter Season. This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, the moment when Jesus, after ascending to heaven, sent forth the Holy Spirit into the world. The disciples, cowering in a small upper room in Jerusalem, fearful for their lives after Jesus’ sorrowful end, encountered a rushing wind. The Holy Spirit had arrived, gifting them with the courage and wisdom to take Jesus’ message out into the world. This, therefore, marks the birth of the Church, as the church goes out to the people, encountering them where they are and sharing the joyful and hope-filled Gospel of Jesus.
We remember as a school community, the importance of our role in the mission of the Church. As a Catholic education community, we seek to share the gospel through our words and our actions, making Christ known and loved to all who enter our walls. We pray that we too are filled with the Holy Spirit as we seek to live this mission in our daily lives.
Slight Change to Afternoon Bus Bay, Riders and Walkers
With the street so busy in the afternoons and student safety our main priority, we have implemented a slight change to the afternoon bus bay routine and the process for dismissing riders and walkers.
We have asked all students catching buses to ensure they are seated in their bus lines each afternoon as they wait for the bus. This ensures students can be adequately supervised on busy afternoons. It has been terrific to see some students bringing books to read or Rubiks Cubes to solve while they wait patiently for their bus.
We have asked riders and walkers to meet outside the admin building each afternoon until 3:20 pm when the final bell rings. This ensures that we can walk these students down the street more safely, avoiding much of the rush at the end of the day.
We appreciate the support of our parents in implementing these slight changes in the interest of student safety.
School Enrolment Open Day
On Sunday, we held our School Enrolment Open Day. We welcomed a number of new and existing families into our school community for some activities and a tour of the school. I sincerely thank our teachers for coming in over the weekend to help with this important event.
A reminder that during Week 8, our school will be having our three-yearly school review. This is a positive and affirming process for our school and will help to shape the agenda for our next three-year Strategic Plan from 2024-2026.
We would love some parents who are able to meet with reviewers to answer questions about how our school is progressing against the nine domains of the National School Improvement Tool. Parents will meet with the three reviewers in small groups on Wednesday, June 14, from approximately 2:30pm - 3:10pm to complete this Google Form to indicate you are interested in attending. Your voice will help us to shape the future directions of our school.
Parish School Forum
The next Parish School Forum meeting is being held on Thursday, 1st June at 7:00 pm in the staff room.
The Draft Agenda includes:
- Representative Sports Singlets
- School Improvement Overview - approaching our new Strategic Plan
- School Review - overview and how you can be involved
- Tell Them From Me - data unpacking and overview
- Parent Assembly - Proposed opportunities for parent engagement
- Mission - process for feedback on how we are progressing in this domain
Here is a form to complete to indicate if you will be attending.
Pupil Free Date Reminders
A reminder that we have some upcoming pupil-free dates so families can find alternative arrangements for supervision for their children. The dates are:
- Wednesday, 31 May - Staff Spirituality Day - The Bishop’s Retreat
- Friday, 30 June - Staff Professional Learning Day - Strategic Planning and the New Curriculum
- Monday, 17 July - Staff Professional Learning Day - Strategic Planning and the New Curriculum
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.
The Sacrament of First Eucharist
All children who are in Year 4 and beyond and who have received the Sacrament of Confirmation are eligible to receive First Eucharist. First Eucharist will be celebrated on the weekends of 19/20 August and 26/27 August.
A meeting for the parents and their child/ren is on Wednesday 28 June at 6:00pm in our staffroom. You will be able to collect the family-based preparation booklet at this meeting which your child completes and is returned to the parish office prior to First Eucharist (date T.B.A.) The booklet will be returned to the children at Mass when presented with their First Eucharist certificate.
Learning & Teaching News
Last Wednesday, members of our Learning Collaborative team attended a professional development day in Coffs Harbour alongside various schools in the Diocese. Lyn Sharratt, author of ‘CLARITY- What Matters MOST in Learning, Teaching, and Leading’ facilitated the day with a focus on assessment and instructional practice. Lyn highlights that clear goals, expectations, and understanding of what is being taught are essential for effective learning. We explored the practice of ‘Learning Walks’ which are quick walks into classrooms by both leaders and teachers observing these factors. We collect data from these observations and discuss as a team how we can make further improvements in these areas.
Sentences- ‘The Building Blocks of Writing’
We have a whole school writing focus on sentences. Looking at our data and student work samples, we have identified this as an area where we can make real improvement. In writing, the foundation consists of sentences. We want to build a solid foundation to propel students' written language and construct more sophisticated and informative sentences.
- Parents can model correct sentence structure by using complete sentences while speaking and encourage their children to do the same. Practicing sentence formation through simple exercises like sentence completion or expanding sentences, will help reinforce this skill. Example: While cooking together, parents can ask their children to describe each step using complete sentences, such as "First, we wash the vegetables. Then, we chop them into small pieces."
- Sentence puzzles: Engaging in fun activities that involve rearranging words to form coherent sentences can be beneficial. Parents can create sentence puzzles using magnetic words or cards with individual words, allowing children to rearrange them to create meaningful sentences. Example: Parents can provide their children with a set of words like "The," "cat," "jumped," and "high." Children can then arrange these words to form the sentence "The cat jumped high."
- Storytelling and sentence structure: Storytelling is an excellent way to enhance children's understanding of sentence structure. Parents can read aloud, books that feature different sentence types, emphasising punctuation and sentence boundaries. Encouraging children to retell stories or create their own narratives will help them practice constructing sentences.
WriteOn 2023 Competition - REMINDER
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.
Mr Phil Crosby, Assistant Principal - Learning & Teaching
Save the date: Stage 3 Rugby Union Gala Day, Coffs Harbour, Friday, 16 June. More information will be released through a Compass Event shortly.
A big thank you to Mr Murgha who has already started leading training sessions with the team.
Playground fun and Structured Play
Break times are a wonderful opportunity to spend time with old friends, make new friends or have some enjoyable down time! We are blessed to offer such wonderful structured play opportunities for our students.
Our students also love hanging out with friends and taking care of each other on the playground.
We all love the idea of camping out under the stars but for some, not having a roof over their head is scary, lonely and not by choice!
This winter our Social Justice Group wants to help such members of our community by raising money to provide warm Blankets for FREE! We are working with the St Vincent de Paul society to help us make sure those in need do not suffer this winter.
Please start saving any gold coins or notes to send in on our fundraising days at school. We will advertise these days in our School Newsletter and we thank your family in advance, for your kindness and generosity in thinking of others and doing as Jesus would do!
Blessings, from the Social Justice Group
We are excited to finally be able to welcome parents (and grandparents) back as volunteers in our Canteen. As a consequence of the last 3 years of Covid restrictions, we are now feeling the loss of volunteer numbers to call upon and Emma needs help! Whether you can volunteer for only 1 day a term or every week, Emma is keen to hear from you. No experience required. Children love to see their parents helping at school.
Our canteen operates on a Wednesday and Friday. Volunteers are needed from approximately 9am-1pm (4 hours) and are required to have a Working With Children Check (volunteer - so no cost involved). Unfortunately, volunteers are not able to bring children with them when helping in the canteen.
Please contact Emma via email: email@example.com for further information.
For Your Information
Our lost property is overflowing with clothing items (including a pair of shoes) and food and drink containers, with no names.
Please assist us to return items to their owners, by ensuring your child’s belongings are LABELLED with their name and by reminding them to put their belongings into their school bags.
Names on preloved uniform purchases too! A reminder to parents when purchasing uniform items, including all second hand items, to please label them with your child’s name.
We often have these items finding their way to lost property still marked with the previous owner’s name and therefore no way of returning them to their new owner.
There have been some cases of headlice reported in EARLY STAGE 1 & STAGE 1.
We ask all parents to please make it a routine to check your child’s hair regularly to help prevent the spread of headlice by early detection and treatment.
Illness & Medical Certificates
We have had a high number of students absent due to illness, which is typical at this time of year.
If your child is absent from school for more than 3 consecutive days, a medical certificate is required. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but this is a government requirement. (Please note that it is not meant to be an incentive to return your child to school before they are well enough.)
Thank you for your understanding.
Happy Birthday to the following students who have celebrated their birthday since our last newsletter, from all of us at Joeys.
Getting the Most out of Gaming WEBINAR - TONIGHT
The Council of Catholic School Parents NSW/ACT, in conjunction with the eSafety Commissioner, is holding a 45 minute webinar on Tuesday, 23 May, to provide families with strategies for supporting children and young people to have safe, positive experiences when playing games online. It is designed for parents and carers of children aged 7 to 14.
It will cover the following:
- when gaming can be beneficial;
- strategies to promote better in-game experiences;
- how to keep children safe online – using safety and privacy settings in games and platforms;
- strategies to promote more balanced gaming and how to create smoother transitions from game-play to other activities; and
- the key online risks and where to find help for things like bullying and harassment in games.
For more information and to register, click here.
Please click on the link below to see the school calendar to view upcoming events: