27 June 2023 (Term 2 Week 10)
Dear St Joseph's Community,
As we approach the end of what has been an incredibly rich and full Term 2, I am encouraged by last Sunday’s Gospel. In the reading from Matthew last Sunday, Jesus tells his disciples to “not be afraid”(Matt 10:26). This declaration to ‘be not afraid’ appears 366 times throughout the entirety of the Bible. Clearly, this is a message that is important for us to listen to.
This passage reminds us that we are always encouraged to have courage and compassion, no matter how difficult the circumstances may be. We are also reminded of God's unending care for us; even in our most trying moments, He is there, guiding us, supporting us, and cherishing us in ways we may not always understand. So many members of our community have faced such challenging hardships and difficulties this year, with illness and injury, loss and grief, hardship and sadness. As challenging as this sometimes is, we know that we can trust in God’s plan for us, knowing that, through His love, we will see the light of His grace on the other side of the earthly difficulties we face.
We pray that the upcoming term break be a time of rest, renewal, and reflection for members of our community. We eagerly await the opportunities that Term 3 will bring. Until then, let us remember that God truly knows and loves us, that"every hair on your head has been counted" by Him and that we are always under the protective wing of our Father in heaven.
Go gently and with love
School Improvement - Reading Data
As our community knows, one of our key school improvement focuses for 2023 is to improve reading. One way we are tracking progress is through the introduction of a new tool called DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills). This tool sees us capturing reading data from students across a range of reading skills at the beginning, middle and end of the school year.
We have recently completed the middle of the year reading assessments and have seen some terrific growth for many of our students across all years in areas such as:
- Letter Naming Fluency
- Non-Word Fluency
- Phonemic Segmentation Fluency
- Word Reading Fluency
- Oral Reading Fluency
- Oral Reading Accuracy
- Reading Comprehension
We are proud of this early indicator of learning progress and will continue to work to strengthen our reading practice going forward.
Staff Development Days
A reminder that we have two upcoming Staff Development Days. These days are incredibly important for our staff, and they allow us to facilitate professional learning on the new Mathematics and English curriculum for our staff as well as begin to analyse the data that will shape our Strategic Plan for 2024-2026.
The following two Staff Development Days will be pupil-free days:
- Friday, 30 June 2023 - the last day of Term 2
- Monday, 17 July 2023 - the first day of Term 3
Students return to school on Tuesday, 18 July.
Our Semester 1 Academic Reports were released to parents today. I would like to acknowledge the significant work of our teachers to assess and compile these reports.
With the move to the new K-2 English and Mathematics curricula, there have been some necessary changes to the structure of the K-2 reports. To provide clarity for our parents on the nature of the reports, we have composed two documents outlining how to understand report grades and the Learning Conversations comments section of the report. The links for both are found below.
With the changes in the NSW Curriculum, the Catholic Schools Office is facilitating a working party to guide the system approach to semester report structures. This will guide what flexibility there is at the school level in relation to reports. When the guidelines arising from the working party are released, we will communicate these with families. We will then seek feedback from parents in relation to any flexible elements of the reports.
Our Parent/Carer-Student-Teacher Interviews with your child's pastoral teacher will be held in Weeks 1 and 2 of Term 3, before and after school.
These are now available to book under the Conferences section of the Compass app or website. This page of the Compass for Parents Website has instructions to show you how to book.
BOOKINGS WILL CLOSE THIS FRIDAY, 30 JUNE, at 3pm.
Your child's attendance at these meetings is essential. It is an opportunity to share successes and engage in discussions about their learning improvement areas. This active involvement is a key part of making these conversations productive and meaningful.
We look forward to the opportunity to discuss your child's learning with you.
This Thursday, we bid farewell to Patricia Steele, who heads off on Long Service Leave for 12 months. We wish Patricia much rest, recreation and safe travels while she is away.
Lindsay Emery will be joining us in an administration role for 12 months while Patricia is on leave. Lindsay brings with her many years of experience in administration roles across a variety of industries. Please make Linday feel very welcome when you meet her in the office. She will be working Mondays, Tuesday and Fridays.
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.
This year we will be celebrating NAIDOC throughout Term 3 in our fortnightly Kick It groups. The theme of this year’s NAIDOC Week is ‘For Our Elders’. This year’s theme is about honouring, celebrating, and paying respect to our Elders and their unwavering strength. Mr Murgha has been developing learning experiences to deepen our understanding of and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders and community leaders. Our heartfelt thanks go to Mr Murgha for his exceptional leadership in developing these learning opportunities and visits from Elders.
Parent Information Night First Communion: Wednesday, 28 June
Children in Year 4 or above who have received the Sacraments of Confirmation and First Reconciliation are eligible to make their First Communion this year. Candidates and their parents are asked to attend our Information Evening this Wednesday, at 6pm, in the school staffroom to learn more about the Sacrament. Please bring along your enrolment form or collect one on the night.
Winter Woolies Casual Clothes Day
Thank you to all families for their generous support during the last month, and making it possible for us to buy Nakie blankets to distribute through our friends at St Vincent DePaul.
We are looking forward to celebrating our last day of Term 2 with a casual clothes day to continue our efforts to raise money for our Vinnies Winter Appeal to support vulnerable people this winter. Students may choose to dress up in their hoodies, tracksuits or fleece clothing and bring along a gold coin donation.
Please ensure all clothing is suitable for school, including wearing school hats for safety (not caps) closed toe shoes (students should leave slippers and ugg boots at home) and sun-safe clothing should the weather be warm including t-shirts with sleeves and knee length shorts. We look forward to having all our students together for a picnic style lunch on the playground to celebrate the end of term as a community.
A “fun”draiser with a bit of fun for all!
With holidays quickly approaching, some families will be looking to freshen up haircuts, uniforms or perhaps even school shoes. Please remember that any new school shoes purchased should be black soft polishable leather – not suede or skate shoes. This includes nylon, sneaker-style shoes.
Returning to school, we do ask students to remove any holiday nail polish or fake nails and jewellery other than a watch and sleepers or stud earrings. Similarly, if your child is receiving a haircut these holidays, please keep in mind our school policy which asks for no ‘trendy haircuts’. This includes haircuts and styles such as mullets, mohawks, undercuts and line signatures. Any hair longer than shoulder-length should be tied up for health and safety.
Uniforms promote student safety but also a sense of community and equality as they create an ‘equal playing field’ for our students. We appreciate your support in helping your child understand this and continuing to wear their uniform with pride.
Learning & Teaching News
What a beautiful day last Friday turned out to be for the Joey’s Athletics Carnival!
Well done to all of the students from both Alstonville and Coraki for their positive attitudes, sportsmanship and encouragement for one another. A big thank you to all of the staff and families who assisted throughout the day; these events cannot happen without all of you.
A special thanks to the Year 6 parents for organising the canteen on the day; to Georgia Webster (mother of Tyler and Millie) for willingly donating her time and trailer to move, and set up all the equipment for the day; and to Mel Barnes (mother of Lulu) for helping to run the Long Jump station.
We hope to notify all children who will be attending Zone this week, as well as awarding our Age Champions and Champion House. Please note that we award ribbons to those who place in their age group at school level, but not all of these results are successful for Zone. This is due to the Zone Carnival having Junior events (8, 9 and 10 combined), instead of age groups for all events.
CPS Rugby Union
Congratulations to Jock Woolley who participated in the CPS Rugby Union at Forbes yesterday. The team finished the day with four wins from four games, so a great result for the team and a great experience for Jock.
Rugby Gala Day
A huge thank you to Mr Heath Conlan, who not only drove our bus but who has also generously offered to cover the cost of the bus for the day. This portion of the cost of the event will be credited to the fee accounts of those students who attended.
NDIS Sports Ability Inclusion Program
In Week 1 of next term, we will be joined by David ‘DJ” Johnson, a Paralympian wheelchair tennis player, from the NDIS Sports Ability Inclusion Program. DJ will be speaking with our children about disability and inclusion, whilst also teaching them wheelchair sports skills.
Ms Linsey MacDonald - Sport Co-Ordinator
The library has been a hive of activity all term from peaceful mornings to action packed lunches and fabulous library classes. The sharing of reading and book recommendations from students has been really helpful in guiding others on their reading journey.
This year we are very lucky to have a tremendous team of Library Leaders supporting us. Some of these students have been learning how to use our library management system (Oliver), which enables them to assist others to borrow and return books. The team is also helping in shelving and assisting others locate books. These students are happily giving their time before school and at lunch. Thank you to the library leaders, especially Ella Creighton-Kemp, Emma Quinlan, James Cormick and Tyler Webster. The team are looking forward to a fabulous Term 3.
A reminder that all student library books are now overdue. Students can borrow for the holidays before school and at lunch.
Thank you to the school and parish community for contributing so generously to our Vinnies Winter Appeal for 2023! Your support has been wonderful and our students have witnessed this spirit of giving, volunteering and compassion for others. We do not have a final total of the money raised but we will be able to reveal this after the final weekend Masses fundraising. The Social Justice team will then happily include this in the first school newsletter of term 3!
Mrs Nikki Wagner & the Social Justice Group
Stage 3 have been very busy...
Stage 3 celebrated a beautiful class liturgy this week. Students prepared prayers, liturgical dances, dramatic scripture reflections and a beautiful prayer space for our class. Well done Stage 3 for putting together such a creative and reverent liturgy!
In Stage 3 Mathematics, we have been learning about 3D shapes. We learnt about the properties and how to design nets. We concluded our learning by designing a city made out of nets of our 3D shapes. There were an assortment of 3D shapes in our builds ranging from cubes to hexagonal pyramids. By Flynn & Bailey
And in Stage 1...
On Wednesdays, Stage One engage in a beautiful, relaxing Dadirri meditation from the First Nation People of the Daley River. Being outside and relishing in God's creation is such a magical and special experience.
5 Star Rating
Congratulations to Emma in the canteen for receiving a 5 Star "Excellent" rating for food safety practices from the Ballina Shire Council. The rating is arrived at after assessment of food temperature control, food handler hygiene, cleaning and sanitation, pest control and food prepared in advance of service.
Thank you Emma, for the wonderful work that you do in our canteen.
Happy Birthday to the following children who have celebrated their birthday since our last newsletter and also to those who will celebrate during the upcoming holidays:
For Your Information
A recent update in Compass has inadvertantly caused an issue. The option to add an Attendance Note using the "shortcut" on your opening screen, is no longer available on some devices.
Currently, the work-around for adding Attendance Notes within the app. is to choose "More" on the bottom toolbar, "Open in Browser", and click on the link "Add Attendance Note" under your child's name. If you are still having difficulty, please phone or email the school to advise of your child's absence.
We anticipate that when this issue has been fixed, the link will again be available within shortcuts.
We have an overflowing lost property filled with items with no names! We ask parents to please take a little time during the holidays to make sure your child's belongings (uniform, hat, lunch box etc.) are clearly labelled with their name.
Please click on the link below to view the Rainbow Region Kids Winter Vacation Club Program or go to our school website.
Click on the link below to see more information about Winter school holiday activities in and around the Ballina coast and hinterland: