1 August 2023 (Term 3 Week 3)
Dear St Joseph’s Community
This week’s Gospel, Matthew 13:44-52, continues the Kingdom parables shared by Jesus we have been hearing these past several weeks.
In the first parable, Jesus compares the Kingdom of Heaven to a hidden treasure found in a field. Upon discovering it, the person sells all they possess to obtain this valuable treasure. This story reminds us of the treasure that lies within each one of us—the divine spark of God's love and grace. As parents and teachers, we are entrusted with nurturing this treasure in our children, teaching them to recognise their worth and potential. Just as the person in the parable sacrifices everything for the hidden treasure, we must prioritise our children's spiritual well-being, guiding them to live with love, compassion, and integrity.
The second parable speaks of a merchant seeking fine pearls. When he finds one of great value, he too sells everything to possess it. This parable reflects the pursuit of wisdom and understanding. As we raise our children in the faith, we must instil in them a thirst for knowledge and a desire to seek truth. Encouraging their curiosity and supporting their quest for wisdom will enable them to develop a deeper connection with God and the world around them.
The Kingdom of God, which Jesus has initiated, is both already here and still our responsibility to continue to build. We pray that we have the strength and courage to support our young people to live out the kingdom.
Attendance at school is essential for all students, not only for their academic progress and growth but also for their ongoing wellbeing. Even missing small amounts of school regularly can have a significant impact on student learning and wellbeing. The poster below highlights the impact of missing school time and how parents and carers can support their children to be at school as much as possible.
FAMILY FAITH RETREAT
The Catholic Schools Office Parent Assembly Team will be facilitating a retreat for parents and families on Saturday and Sunday 9th & 10th September. The retreat is held at Tyalgum Ridge Retreat Centre and is open to all families with children in Catholic schools in the Diocese of Lismore. The retreat is fully funded by the Catholic Schools Office and is a terrific opportunity for families to connect with each other and to enliven their faith lives. Please see the flyer below with details for registering.
SAFE TECHNOLOGY USAGE SERIES
We continue to share some important information to support parents and carers to help keep their children safe when using technology. This information has been compiled by those with expertise in the Catholic Schools Office. The second in this series discusses how to teach our children about safe and respectful social media sharing practices.
WHAT IS PRIVATE?
Teaching Your Child About Respectful Image Sharing
Today, children and young people have grown up in a world filled with digital media, which can make concepts like privacy and ownership challenging for them to grasp. If we post images of our children online without discussing it with them, it's understandable why privacy and permission become confusing for them. Schools, clubs, and events have social media policies in place, and it's important to model for your child that you can't take photos involving others and post them without their consent.
eSafety recommends involving your child in decisions about sharing their photos. This can be a valuable learning experience and an opportunity to demonstrate what respectful behaviour looks like. Here's how you can approach it:
- Start by expressing your pride in your child's accomplishments. For example, you can say, "I'm proud of you for riding your bike. I'd really like to take a photo so we can remember this moment. Is that okay with you?"
- Engage in a conversation with your child about how, why, and with whom you would like to share the image. Ask them if it's okay to share it with a specific person or group. For instance, you can say, "I would like to share this photo with your grandparents because they are so excited to see you riding your bike all by yourself. Is it okay if I post it online for them to see?"
- Involve your child in the process of sharing their image online. Let them help you choose which image(s) to share and discuss who they would like to share it with.
- Take this opportunity to talk about appropriate audiences for sharing images and explain how they can select specific groups on platforms like Facebook or Instagram.
- It's important to respect your child's wishes if they're not ready or unwilling to share certain images, both now and in the future. Use this activity as a chance to discuss what type of images should never be shared, even with friends or relatives.
By having these conversations and modelling respect and understanding, you can guide your child to develop a better understanding of privacy, consent, and responsible image-sharing practices.
PARISH SCHOOL FORUM MEETING - SAVE THE DATE
Our next PSF Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, 15th of August, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm. The focus of this meeting is to begin the process to discern which of the two system-supported Parent Engagement models we should move forward with from 2024. With the change of governance structure in Catholic Schools in our diocese, there is a need to move towards one of two models the Catholic Schools Office has developed. Janita Thomson from the Catholic Schools Office will be joining our meeting and outlining the two approaches. Parents and Carers can register their attendance using the link below. A light supper will be provided. We hope to see you there. See coming events in this newsletter for more information.
Learning & Teaching News
🌟 EXCITING FRIENDSHIP-FOCUSED ADVENTURES WITH YEAR 4 AT ACCENDERE! 🌟
Last Tuesday at our Accendere retreat, our enthusiastic Year 4 students participated in a series of activities that highlighted the importance of quality friendships. Through a range of interactive games, creative projects and team-building challenges, our young learners explored the importance of sharing, acceptance, acts of kindness and showing love to one another, just like Jesus did.
100TH DAY OF KINDERGARTEN
Last Friday we celebrated our 100th day of Kindergarten. We got to share our learning with our parents, played games and had a celebratory cake! We also got to dress up as 100 year old people or put 100 things on us. We all had a lot of fun!
100th day of Kindergarten
Congratulations to all of our students that competed at the Zone Athletics Carnival last week. Our children competed with great joy and sportsmanship towards themselves and other competitors. We were also very fortunate to have such amazing weather on the day. A big thank you to Woodlawn for the fields, the organisers for the day and for our families who were able to support us. A reminder that all Zone singlets are now overdue and need to be returned to the Library as soon as possible.
The following children are progressing to Diocesan in Coffs Harbour later this term:
- Josie Layland
- Will Gallagher
- Brenden Latham
- Penny Hodge
- Zeke Kubils
- Sully Mitchell
- Jordy Thompson
- Rory Quinlan
- Hugo McCall
- Spencer Birkwood
We also congratulate Sully Mitchell who was awarded Junior Boys Age Champion and Jonty Allen for receiving a medal for his participation in Multiclass Long Jump.
Next Friday our Stage 3 students will be spread across 3 different locations to participate in a sports Gala day. The Compass event with all information, costing and permission will be sent out to families by the end of this week; please action this ASAP for your child’s attendance.
TAKE HOME READERS
Many students are making great use of the Take Home Readers. These decodable readers are used to support learning in the classroom. All students in Kindergarten and Stage 1 and a select number of students in Stages 2 & 3 are using these resources. A reminder that these books need to be returned each week. Please make sure these are returned the following days so new books can be issued.
- Kindergarten - Friday
- Stage 1 - Thursday
- Stage 2 - Friday
- Stage 3 - Thursday
RAF OATEN UPDATE
Some fabulous news from the Oaten family on Raf's health. As you may be aware Raf has been bravely battling his illness so this update fills us with great joy!
We are relieved, overwhelmed, and delighted to give you the update that Raf is in clinical remission from cancer and needs no further treatment
After 19 months of intensive therapy it will take awhile to get him back on track and for us to find our new normal, but we are excited to see what comes next
Thank you all for your care and kindness throughout this process. For a few very special friends and family members, this boy and his mumma are still here because of you, and words don’t even come close to expressing my love and gratitude for your presence in our lives
EXCITING NEWS FOR QUINN MATLEY!
Congratulations to Quinn Matley from Year 2! Quinn was successful in being cast in a role for a new television series which will be released in 2024. The series title is yet to be announced, but we know Quinn will do a fantastic job, and we look forward to seeing her performance when the show is released!
For Your Information
There have been a number of headlice cases reported to the school, in various stages. We encourage all parents to inspect their children, and if any infestation is evident, to treat the hair and scalp with a recognised headlice treatment.
ADD ATTENDANCE NOTE MISSING FOR PARENTS IN COMPASS APP
- It has been noted in previous newsletters that there is a known issue with the Compass App regarding the loss of the ability for parents to “add an attendance note” from the shortcuts in their app. CSO is working with Compass to resolve this issue.
- Parents can continue to add an attendance note using the SMS link for absences and in all cases, are able to submit an attendance note using the “open in browser” mode.
- We encourage parents to use this method of adding attendance, and also accept phone or email notifications for upcoming absences until this is resolved.
FAMILY DAY - SAVE THE DATE!
We have begun the planning for this term’s Family Day! The theme is drawn from this year’s book week theme: Read, Grow, Inspire. The day is scheduled for Thursday, 21st September. This is a wonderful St Joseph’s tradition, and we look forward to sharing the day with our entire school community.
Acknowledgement of 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.