15 August 2023 (Term 3 Week 5)
On Wednesday come dressed in your green and gold to show your support for the Matildas!
Dear St Joseph’s Community
I can’t believe it is almost halfway through Term 3! The year is flying by at a rapid pace! We are incredibly proud of our students. They are working hard on their learning this semester and doing their best to achieve their learning goals.
In this Sunday’s Gospel Reading, Matthew 14:22-33, we find a vivid account of the apostles caught in a storm at sea, with Jesus walking on water towards them. Peter, filled with both fear and faith, steps out of the boat to walk towards Jesus but soon begins to sink when overwhelmed by the surrounding storm. Jesus immediately reaches out and saves him, reminding him of the importance of unwavering faith.
Even if we aren't navigating literal stormy seas, each of us faces our own metaphorical storms in life. There are moments when the challenges of parenting, work, relationships, or personal growth can make us feel as though we're sinking. It's in these times that we all yearn for a helping hand or a word of encouragement to pull us up. This story isn't just about a miraculous act but reflects a fundamental human need – the need to be rescued. Every individual, regardless of their beliefs, can relate to the feeling of being overwhelmed and needing support. Whether that support comes from a higher power, a loved one, or a community, the essence is the same: we all need help navigating the uncertainties of life. For parents, this passage can serve as a gentle reminder. As we guide our children through their formative years, let's remember to be their beacon, their anchor, and, when needed, the hand that pulls them up from their stormy seas. It's through these acts of love and support that we truly embody the spirit of community, interconnectedness and love.
TUESDAY 15TH AUGUST - THE FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION
The Feast of the Assumption commemorates the Catholic teaching that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was taken up into heaven, both body and soul. It's a celebration of transcendence, the idea that love, virtue, and a life lived with purpose can elevate us beyond the ordinary.
For many in the secular world we live in, the tales of miracles and divine interventions may seem distant. However, at its core, the Assumption is about hope, respect, and the indomitable spirit of a mother. In our everyday lives, especially as parents, we witness small 'assumptions' all the time. When we see our children rise above challenges, when we witness acts of kindness in our communities, or when we experience moments of unexpected grace and understanding, we are reminded of the potential in all of us to elevate above our circumstances. While we may not all believe in the same miracles, we can unite in the shared belief of the power of love, resilience, and the human spirit to rise. As we reflect on the Feast of the Assumption, let us inspire our children to reach for the stars and to always seek the higher ground in their journeys.
GOOD LUCK MRS LEWIS
We wish Jess and Hayden a safe and joyous next chapter in their lives as they prepare to welcome their first child to the world. Mrs Lewis will be dearly missed by our school family while she is on leave, but we know she will have a year filled with a joy beyond measure as she grows her own family. We will keep Mrs Lewis in our thoughts and prayers and can’t wait to hear the news of Baby Lewis’ safe arrival soon!
REMINDER STAFF DEVELOPMENT DAY
A reminder that Monday, Week 7, August 28, is a Pupil Free Day. This is a day when staff will be working hard on our school improvement and learning agendas. We thank parents for their understanding of the need to find alternative supervision for their children on this day.
Learning & Teaching News
GIFT OF THE GAB SCHEDULE FOR THIS WEEK:
- Monday, 12 August - Stage 2 Student Presentations
- Tuesday, 15 August - Kinder and Stage 1 Presentations
- Wednesday, 16 August - Stage 3 Presentations
Thank you to Katherine Lamas for helping our students prepare last Thursday, giving them the opportunity to rehearse and get some feedback to make some improvements. We are really looking forward to hearing the presentations.
SENTENCE BUILDING - PUNCTUATION
As part of our focus on students creating good sentences, we have been looking at how It is important that children use correct punctuation, in order to clearly structure their writing, clarify meaning and add impact. To reinforce this important skill at home, here are some activities you can explore with your child.
- Look at different types of punctuation with your child in their reading book. Discuss why the author has chosen to use it.
- Ask your child to use a highlighter pen to highlight different forms of punctuation in old newspapers/magazines.
- Letter Writing: Engage in a letter-writing exchange with your child. As they compose letters, emphasise the correct use of commas, capitalisation, and end punctuation.
- Punctuation Story: Together, create a story without any punctuation. Then, challenge your child to add the necessary punctuation marks, discussing the impact on clarity and flow.
Thank you for your continued support in nurturing our students' writing skills!
This weekend we will be celebrating First Communion in our parish-school community. We congratulate our First Communicants and will keep them in our prayers during this special time. We warmly invite all members of our community to join us at these Masses, and especially this Sunday, 20th August, for Pancake Day, where pancakes will be served to our Parish community after 8.30am Mass. We would love to see you there.
FATHER’S DAY PRAYER CELEBRATION
On Friday, 1st September we will be having a special Liturgy to celebrate all the fathers, grandfathers, uncles and friends who show our children kindness and love. This Liturgy will be on at 2.20pm in the hall. As part of this Liturgy, we would love to share images of the children and the fathers and/or father-figures in their lives. Please send these photos to email@example.com so we can include them in the liturgy. Thank you!
Stage 3 Excursion to Byron Bay Writers Festival
Stage 3 students got to experience three wonderful authors while at the Byron Bay Writers Festival. The three authors were Oliver Phommavanh, Zanni Louise and Karen Foxlee, all of whom have written several books in their career. These authors gave Stage 3 amazing writing tips and ideas to use when we are writing short stories. This experience was amazing! Stage 3 would highly recommend reading books from all three of these wonderful authors! We have included some book reviews below as well. By Harry Hosking & Maggie Wilkie
‘Dragon skin was mysterious in many ways with magic on every page. I felt intrigued by the suspense of what's going to happen next.’ - Peter Carroll
‘Oliver’s books really dive into reality and experience challenges through everyday life.’ - Harry Hosking
‘The Human Kind series from Zannie Louise was amazing to read with tips and tricks to achieve goals and help people feel comfortable to share their feelings and thoughts with the world. Queenie and The Seven Moves was an inspiring story based on her own life challenges.’ - Maggie Wilkie
We enjoyed our second week of welcoming our Junior Joeys students into our school this week. Students had a wonderful time in the STEM room exploring, playing and creating. We listened and discussed the story ‘Alpacas with Maracas’ and then made our very own special maracas to take home. We look forward to seeing everyone again next week!
Well done to our Joey’s children who competed at Diocesan Athletics in Coffs Harbour today. Team Joey’s was made of: Jordynn Thompson, Penny Hodge, Brenden Latham, Will Gallagher, Sully Mitchell, Josie Layland, Zeke Kubils, Rory Quinlan, Jonty Allen, Hugo McCall, Spencer Birkwood and Jack Kubils. We look forward to celebrating their achievements next week.
Eight Stage 3 students attended the Zone Netball Gala day in Lismore, last Friday. There was some tough competition but our team gave it their all. The team should be very proud of their sportsmanship and how they came together as a team. It was a great day!
Fifteen Stage 3 students attended the Zone Football Gala day in Lismore, last Friday. Their teamwork was evident on the field throughout the day and they played well to win two out of three games making it through to the second final. Each player's contribution was invaluable, their sportsmanship on and off the field was commendable and they represented our school with pride. Well done, team!
Some of our Stage 3 students attended multi sports at Goonellabah last Friday. Students rotated around different sports learning skills and playing games. They participated in soccer, hockey, AFL, rugby league, rugby union and table tennis. The weather was perfect and students said they had a brilliant day!
Book Week is fast approaching, this annual event highlights the importance of books and celebrates all things reading. We will be doing book week activities in the library next week and exploring some of the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) shortlisted books. Our annual book fair and dress ups will be celebrated on Family Day (Thursday 21 September). See more information about Family Day in Coming Events in this newsletter.
PARENTAL SUPPORT - "ANXIETY AND AUTISM" "AGGRESSION & AUTISM" AND "SCHOOL AVOIDANCE & AUTISM"
The Parental Stress Centre is an excellent source of parenting support. Attached is a flyer with links to 3 webinar recordings recently sponsored by the Diocesan Parent Assembly. I have listened to "Anxiety and Autism" and found it very useful. The other recordings deal with "Aggression & Autism" and "School Avoidance & Autism".
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.
Protect Your Child Online from Inappropriate Content
As children explore the online world, they may encounter inappropriate content that can be harmful and disturbing. This content can have emotional consequences, causing nightmares or changes in behaviour, especially if it's vivid.
Inappropriate content includes prohibited or offensive material that is unsuitable for children's age and developmental stage. It can be accessed inadvertently through search engines, hyperlinks, pop-ups, junk mail, online games, or referrals from others.
- Talk openly and regularly about online behaviour
- Let them know they should come to you or a teacher if they encounter online problems or see something wrong, emphasising that they won't get in trouble for seeking help.
- Avoid device threats that may discourage open communication. Children may fear losing their device, causing them to keep online problems hidden.
- Monitor the content your child accesses online, including video games and streaming services. Utilise parental controls for streaming platforms.
- Ensure children access online content in common areas like the lounge room, allowing for better supervision and reducing the risk of exposure to inappropriate content.
Talk About It
Start conversations with your child about their online experiences:
- Ask if they've ever seen something that made them feel uncomfortable, worried or upset.
- Discuss how to handle negative situations online and ensure their safety.
- Explore their knowledge of online safety and why it's important not to share inappropriate content with peers.
If your child views inappropriate content:
- Determine if it was accidental or deliberate, and have an open conversation about their motives.
- Stay calm, listen to their feelings, and offer emotional support as needed.
- Seek advice from resources like NSW Parentline (1300 1300 52) if necessary.
Resources to use with your child
- esafety kids: I saw something online I did not like.
- Younger children watch: Swoosh and Glide and Rule Number 5 story time video.
- Hard to have conversations. Tips for parents.
- ThinkUKnow: I’m worried my child might see something inappropriate online
PARISH MASS TIMES
Saturday Vigil Mass - 6.00 pm
Sunday Mass Alstonville - 8.30 am
Sunday Mass Wardell - 5:00 pm
DON'T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER...
...try our Lucky Dip instead! Hundreds of books available, most priced around $2-$3.
Take a chance on a new read, and help support Year 6 fundraising for their gift to the school.
Our Book Stall will be open:
- Friday 25th August at school (including just before assembly for parents who want to make a purchase)
- Saturday 26th August at the Alstonville Plaza.
If you’re in Year 6 and want to help out with our Stall, contact Kate Webber on 0424 293 243.