8 August 2023 (Term 3 Week 4)
Dear St Joseph’s Community
In this week's Gospel, we hear the story of the Transfiguration from Matthew 17:1-9. Here, Jesus leads his closest disciples up a mountaintop where they encounter God’s presence. The miraculous moment where Jesus is transfigured before Peter, James, and John offers a rich tapestry of symbolism that resonates deeply with our mission and values here at St Joseph’s.
On the mountaintop, Jesus is transformed, and His divine nature shines through. His clothes become dazzling white, and the prophets Moses and Elijah appear at His side, symbolising Jesus’ connection to justice and the kingdom of God. A voice from the heavens affirms Jesus’ divine nature: "This is my Son, the Beloved; with him, I am well pleased." This divine moment of change offers an extraordinary parallel to the everyday transfiguration we observe in our children. Just as Jesus was revealed in His true form, our children, too, are constantly being revealed in new and wondrous ways as they grow and learn through the love of their parents, carers, educators and those other special people in their lives.
Here at Joey's, we recognize that the education and nurturing of your children is a partnership. Through your unwavering love and our shared commitment to learning and our Catholic values, we help in sculpting young minds and hearts. Your children's experiences at school and at home intertwine to form a tapestry of growth and transformation that reflects the beauty we hear of in the Transfiguration story. The love, care, and education they receive allow them to blossom into the individuals God intends them to be. It is our mission to support this journey and witness the gradual unveiling of their potential.
Our school motto, "Growth Through Love," captures this very essence. Just as Christ was transfigured through His divine love, our children, too, are shaped and formed through the genuine affection and guidance they receive. Love, in all its manifestations, is the vital force that propels our children towards greatness. It's the love from parents, carers, teachers, and peers that creates a nurturing environment. It's a love for learning that sparks curiosity and exploration. And above all, it's the love for one another, for humanity, and for God that makes them compassionate and empathetic individuals.
As we journey through this school term, let us remember the Transfiguration as a reminder of our divine calling to support and guide our children in their on-going transformation. In faith, love, and partnership, we can continue to nurture their growth and witness the beauty of their evolution. Thank you for your continued support and dedication to the St Joseph’s community. Together, we are helping to shape a future filled with grace, compassion, and wisdom.
CONGRATULATIONS MS KINGSFORD
At St Joseph’s, we are blessed to have an incredibly capable staff with considerable depth and breadth of knowledge and experience. This week, we congratulate Ms Ros Kingsford, who this week presented at the National Education Summit - Capacity Building School Libraries Conference in Brisbane. Ms Kingsford, who also spends part of her time mentoring and supporting school librarians across our diocese, presented a session at the conference advocating for those non-teachers who are taking on the significant role of leading the library in their schools. Her talk highlighted the powerful impact that these library staff have on the reading and learning culture in their schools.
Ms Kingsford’s presentation was incredibly well received. Ms Kingsford’s experience, expertise, passion, and generous spirit shone clearly through as she shared the story of libraries across our dioceses and, more deeply, the St Joseph’s story and the important role of all library staff in their schools and the contribution they make to building and maintaining an effective school library.
We congratulate Ms Kingsford for her contribution to the rich dialogue in relation to supporting school libraries and we acknowledge the significant contribution she has made to the St Joseph’s library. Ms Kingsford’s presentation title and synopsis are below.
Schools Need Great Library Staff!
Library Staff. Seems an innocuous title but it has great impact. In primary schools especially, it is more common to have non-teaching staff running libraries. Does this make them less effective? Less inspirational? Less all round? Non-teacher-librarian library staff are more than capable of achieving great things. In this session I will highlight the impact our Library Staff can have on outstanding libraries.
CONGRATULATIONS MR CROSBY
The depth of our staff here at St Joseph’s has no bounds! Over the past two years, Mr Crosby has been involved in a significant leadership initiative through the Catholic Schools Office. Mr Crosby was chosen, following a highly selective process, to be a part of the leadership project Pathways to Leadership, supported through the CSO and independent Education Consultative Group, The Brown Collective. As a part of this initiative, he has undertaken significant professional learning, engaging with experts in a range of fields. He has also worked closely with a coach and worked collaboratively with a syndicate of other leaders to support one another’s professional growth. The process culminated with Mr Crosby presenting his learnings from a leadership project he undertook to lead the implementation of the new Mathematics and English curricula. Mr Crosby’s presentation was deeply insightful and demonstrated his significant strengths as a leader. Being selected into this program was an impressive accomplishment, but completing the initiative with such distinction is an extraordinary achievement. We are very fortunate to have a leader of the calibre we do in our school. Thephoto shows Mr Crosby receiving his certificate of completion for the Pathways to Leadership Project from Sam Symes of The Brown Collective.
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 third in this series discusses how to teach our children about cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying: Being Mean is Never OK
As a parent, you play a vital role in helping your child develop digital intelligence, which encompasses the social, emotional, and practical skills needed to navigate the digital world successfully. To start the conversation about kindness, ask your child how they would like to be treated by others face-to-face and online. Have they witnessed someone being mean either online or in person? Discuss the values they should remember when they are online, such as compassion, empathy, and doing the right thing.
Take the time to talk about what constitutes mean behaviour. This could include saying hurtful things, sending hurtful messages, deliberately excluding someone, spreading lies, or being unkind while playing games.
To help your child recognise if they are being mean, ask them how they would know if they are hurting someone's feelings. They may mention outcomes such as the other person being upset, telling a teacher, crying, or refusing to play with them anymore. It's important to help them understand the concept of getting personal, which involves making comments about someone's appearance, speech, race, disability, or family background. Explain why this is never acceptable.
Here are some ways you can support your child:
- Sit with them and review their online conversations, as well as their interactions with friends and family face-to-face. Discuss what they are saying and help them understand the impact of their words.
- Encourage and praise their kind behaviour at home and beyond.
- Talk about accepting differences in others and discuss strategies for dealing with people who annoy them. Openly coach them through specific situations.
- Guide your child to imagine being in someone else's shoes, promoting empathy and understanding diverse perspectives.
- Explain that there are consequences for mean online behaviour, even if it occurs outside of school hours. Emphasise that schools may intervene and address such behaviour if it is towards a school peer.
By having these conversations and providing guidance, you can empower your child to navigate the digital world with kindness and respect.
Additional Resources From eSafety Kids
We have recently had a number of students in some stages unwell with gastro-like symptoms. We have also had students absent or presenting to the sick bay with conjunctivitis, influenza and head lice.
While attendance is important, and we aim for a 95% attendance rate for all students, it is equally important for students to remain at home if they are unwell, especially if their illness is contagious. In the case of gastroenteritis, children should not attend school until 48 hours after they no longer have symptoms. For influenza, students should only return when their temperature has returned to normal and symptoms have abated. For conjunctivitis, students should only return to school when any discharge from the eyes has ceased. For headlice, students can return the following treatment.
We will continue our strong practice of using hand sanitiser as students enter the classroom to protect against germs. We have had and will continue to ensure the school is deep cleaned today with additional sanitation of surfaces.
Thanks for your support in ensuing we keep one another safe and healthy.
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 this link. A light supper will be provided. We hope to see you there.
Our school community sends their condolences to the Cluff family (Flynn stage 3) on the passing of their Pop.
Learning & Teaching News
This term we will be running our ‘Gift of the Gab’ public speaking competition. Students are invited to take part in the competition that will take place during lunch times in week 5, with the winners showcasing their talent at our school assembly. Entries close this Friday, and we will be having time to practise this week at lunch.
Finalists from each stage will have the opportunity to represent our school by competing against other schools in the area at St Carthages, Lismore. Further information and criteria will be given to students and parents soon.
It is important to note that students wishing to enter the competition will work on their poetry recital or speech in their own time. We look forward to listening to our students' ideas.
Here is the link to register: bit.ly/GOG2023
STAGE 3 - Building our knowledge and understanding of writing sentences
Stage 3 recently took part in a learning experience with a focus on sentences. We began with a discussion about the statement ‘Sentences are the building blocks to writing’. This started as an open discussion, before adding some rules. Students had to respond using a complete sentence and with some specific vocabulary shared with the group related to sentences. The next step was for students to respond to the statement using the conjunctions ‘because’ or ‘so’.
The body of the lesson consisted of students working in groups to order five different paragraphs from least advanced to most advanced, with a focus on the sentence structure. Students also had the opportunity to self evaluate their own knowledge of sentence structure, including simple, compound and complex sentences as well as other terminology such as adverbial phrases or independent clauses. Teachers will be working alongside students to support them in identifying what their next steps are to progress their skills in sentence writing. We’ll make sure to share some of their work of sentence progressions over the coming weeks.
MARY MACKILLOP LITURGY
Please join us on Tuesday, 8th August in the hall for our Mary Mackillop feast day celebration. The liturgy is on at 2.20pm.
Mary MacKillop is Australia’s first saint and the founder of the Josephite nuns who started our school. This liturgy is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about Mary and be inspired by her compassion for those in need, particularly children. Mary was deeply inspired by St Joseph, a man of action who demonstrated great faithfulness to God and care and protection of his family; Mary and Jesus.
On the weekend of the 19/20th and 26/27th August, students from our parish school community will be celebrating the sacrament of First Communion.
We warmly invite everyone to join us at these Masses, and especially on Sunday 20th August where pancakes will be served to our Parish community after 8.30am Mass. Our children can enjoy seeing school and parish friends and having a play together on the playground.
NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST BULLYING
The theme for the National Day of Action Against Bullying is ‘growing connections’. While the national date is 18th August, we will be celebrating this at our assembly on Friday, 25th August. Our students will learn about the theme in class, and the importance of growing connections to help themselves and others feel accepted, respected, included and supported.
VINNIES WINTER APPEAL PRESENTATION
Last week, we were privileged to be joined by members of the Alstonville Chapter of St Vincent de Paul to congratulate our community, and especially our student leaders, for their fundraising efforts in the Vinnies Winter Appeal.
We welcomed Anne, Helen, Margaret and Rose from the local chapter, who congratulated our community for their fundraising efforts this year. Led by Nikki Wagner and Kate Jones, our student Social Justice and Liturgy Leaders worked in the school and parish community to raise $2500 for the Vinnies Winter Appeal. This money has already been used to purchase Nakey Blankets to support the most vulnerable people in our local communities.
Our student leaders were awarded a special certificate of appreciation for their efforts. A huge thank you to Nikki and Kate for their leadership of this work and to our students, their families and the parish for their support.
STAGE 3 GALA DAY
This 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 has been sent out to families; please action this ASAP for your child’s attendance.
Around the School
WELCOME TO THE FAMILY, JUNIOR JOEYS!
It was wonderful to welcome the newest members of our school family, our Junior Joeys, last Thursday. They enjoyed a fun morning of play, stories, craft and most importantly, friendships, both old and new.
School transition is an important step in preparing students, and school communities, for each child’s successful entry into ‘big’ school. Throughout Junior Joeys, we build experiences to ensure students feel secure, confident and connected to our school environment.
We look forward to getting to know our new learners and new families throughout this transition process.
Thank you to our Year 5 leaders, Finlay, Lucinda, Harmony and Wyatt who helped settle our Junior Joeys in for their first week. Your presence was friendly, supportive and encouraging for all our new students. Well done!
Student voice through the Tell Them From Me survey, and follow-up data collection, has been invaluable in helping our staff consider how we are able to create an even more inclusive, safe and fun playground experience for our students. We are delighted to now have our enrichment tutors on the playground each lunchtime organising inclusive games for students to participate in to foster belonging and connection between our students.
Dance has been a hit again this term on Thursdays at lunch time! Come on in and have a boogie with us!
It was wonderful to recommence Choir last week. We enjoyed singing Bruno Mars’ ‘Count on Me’ in preparation for our assembly on 25th August for National Day of Action Against Bullying; and ‘Waymaker’ by Leeland. Please come and join us, we’d love to see you there!
Chess was on again this week. Our students, old and new to chess, are enjoying playing against each other and making new friends. If you haven’t played before and are interested, come and check it out on Wednesdays!
Thank you to everyone who supports our school canteen. We are very fortunate to have tasty and affordable food prepared for our students by our wonderful canteen manager, Emma. This is a reminder that cut-off time for ordering lunch from the canteen is at 8.30am via Compass. If you need to cancel a lunch order, the cut-off time for doing so is also 8.30am as Emma prints the orders and begins preparing food promptly at this time. All lunch orders need to be placed via the Compass platform, and no longer purchased with cash. If you would like any support in navigating the Canteen ordering system on Compass, please don’t hesitate to ask our Administrative staff or a member of our school leadership team as we are happy to help. Thank you for your support of our canteen processes.
A huge thank you to those parents and carers who have been giving their time to support Emma in the canteen. If you are able to give any time on Wednesdays and Fridays to support Emma, this would be greatly appreciated. If you could email the school with when you are available that would be great. Thank you for your support of our canteen!