29 August 2023 (Term 3 Week 7)
As we celebrate Father's Day this coming Sunday, I would like to extend heartfelt greetings to all the fathers, grandfathers, and father figures who play such crucial roles in our lives. This special day gives us the opportunity not only to show our gratitude but also to reflect on what fatherhood truly means. In our Catholic faith, we are fortunate to have extraordinary examples of fatherhood - God the Father, and St Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. Both offer timeless lessons that resonate deeply with the roles and responsibilities fathers undertake each day. St Joseph, in particular, exemplifies virtues of unconditional love, humility, courage, and dependability. Just as God the Father loves us unconditionally, St Joseph's love for Jesus was unwavering. He set aside his own dreams to focus on his family's well-being, a form of humility and sacrifice that many of you emulate every day. Courage, too, was central to St Joseph's journey. His strength in protecting his family resonates with the courage that many fathers display in ensuring the safety and welfare of their families. Lastly, his faithfulness and dependability are a testament to the steady guidance that fathers offer, echoing the eternal stability of God the Father.
We wish all fathers and father figures a restful and blessed Father’s Day this coming Sunday. We hope to see you at our Father’s Day Liturgy on Friday at 2:20. Don’t forget about the Father’s Day Stall on Thursday. Lots of amazing gifts there for dad! I leave you with a Father’s Day Prayer to St Joseph.
SHARING OUR LEARNING COLLABORATIVE JOURNEY
On Tuesday, our Learning Collaborative Team, composed of Mr Crosby, Mrs Miller, Mrs McElligott and myself, attended a professional learning day at Holy Family Primary School. We spent the day engaging in learning with our thought partner Dr Lyn Sharratt, with whom our school has been working for four years to implement strong, evidence-based education practice. Our school was invited to share our learning and the growth we are making in our focus on writing with our colleagues. It was terrific to have our work affirmed by our colleague schools, the Catholic Schools Office and Dr Sharratt. We have been working hard all year to sharpen our writing focus down to sentence-level writing and to implement strategies that we know will help our students become stronger, more confident writers.
STAFF DEVELOPMENT DAY
Thank you to all of our parents for your support of our professional development here at the school; we understand that these changes are a challenge for families. These days help us to plan for the future and to ensure our learning and teaching practice is as strong as it could be.
ASSEMBLY PARKING REMINDER
It was wonderful to see so many parents and carers joining us for assembly last Friday. We look forward to many more family members joining us for our Father’s Day Liturgy this Friday at 2:20. Just a reminder to parents attending assembly that the boom gate must remain lowered in accordance with our Traffic Management Plan, until the last bus has left. The parking on Perry St will allow parents to depart earlier on assembly days.
PARISH SCHOOL FORUM (PSF)
A couple of weeks ago at the PSF meeting, Janita Thomson and Jo Kelly, from the Catholic School’s Office Family School Partnerships Team, presented the two Parent Forum Models which all schools in the Diocese will need to move towards in 2024. The reason for this change is because the change in the governance model means that our current model of the PSF needs to be amended; and to ensure Diocesan-wide consistency. The two models are explained in the image below and more information can be accessed at the link below (Parent Representative Bodies Document). Parents and carers are invited to indicate their preference for the new model via the survey link below. The two models will be discussed further at an additional Parish School Forum evening in Term 4. The date is yet to be scheduled but will be advertised via the newsletter and Compass. We invite all interested parents to join us for this meeting.
Congratulations to James Cormick, Sybella Peters and Annabelle Ryan who made their First Holy Communion on the weekend! This is a very special time in our students lives and we congratulate them on completing their initiation into the Catholic Church.
Congratulations to our choir who sang ‘Count on Me’ at our school assembly last week. We look forward to having them sing at our Father’s Day Liturgy this Friday and our Family Day Liturgy at the end of term. They have been practising so much and their voices are absolutely beautiful!
FATHER’S DAY LITURGY
Our Father’s Day Liturgy is this Friday at 2.20pm in McCarthy Hall. We will celebrate our fathers, grandfathers and father figures. We hope you can join us for this special celebration. If you haven’t yet done so, please send a photo of your child’s father, grandfather or special person by Wednesday afternoon to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can include this as part of a short video reflection.
Our Junior Joeys are learning new things every day! So much fun for everyone!
Strategies, strategies, strategies! We solve problems using a variety of strategies in Stage One and we decide which ones are more efficient before explaining our reasoning.
Expressing our emotions through art! Last week during creative arts, Stage 2 explored how different lines, shapes and colours can represent different emotions. Our final artwork represented love, calm, anger and fear.
This term in Religious Education, Stage 3 students have been learning all about the 7 Sacraments. In particular, students have been learning how the Word, symbols, and rituals are used in these celebrations so that they can strengthen and deepen their faith.
Our students are displaying fabulous reading habits, especially with their library borrowing. We have some great new books for students to borrow as well. A reminder to make sure students are coming ready for their library day. Those students in Stages 1, 2 and 3 who have take home readers must return these to the library on their library day. Early Stage 1 students return their take home readers on Friday.
The creativity has been running strong in the maker space at lunch times. Hayley-May King has designed a hand puppet and constructed it using felt. It is always wonderful to see such creativity in our students. We will be making Family Day decorations for the next few weeks, students are welcome to join in the fun every day at lunch time.
Around the School
STRUCTURED PLAY OPPORTUNITIES
Thank you to our Stage 3 students who participated in a recent follow up from the Tell Them From Me survey. As a result of this follow up, Mr Crosby is now leading modified touch football games every Thursday at lunch. This offers the opportunity for students to exercise with friends, while being guided and supported in good sportsmanship and engaging with each other in prosocial ways. Take a look at the wonderful structured play opportunities being offered at St Joeys for the remainder of term (and a huge thanks to our incredibly talented and dedicated staff who lead these).
STRUCTURED PLAY - DANCE
Students are invited to come and show off their ‘limbo’ and ‘freezing’ skills at Dance every Wednesday at lunch time!
Thank you to all of those who supported our winter appeal. We raised $2400! We were able to obtain 12 blankets and the support from our school and parish community was astounding!! Thanks also to Alstonville Quality Meats who donated chicken so that Mrs Wagner could make a big pot of soup and the Nakie Blanket Company who gave us a discount on our purchase! A HUGE thank you to all those generous people out there - at such a difficult time when many are facing financial hardship, they could still dig deep and contribute. God bless us all!
LEARNING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (LAP)
LAP has been a powerful program over many years in our school, whereby our students have experienced pastoral care through the care and concern of generous, adult volunteers. We rely on our local community to nominate themselves for one hour a week as mentors for this program and we are seeking support for LAP in the final terms of 2023. If you are interested in finding out more please take a look at the LAP website link below or contact Mrs Nikki Wagner (co-ordinator). No special skills needed, just a loving heart!
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 fourth in this series discusses how we as parents can put in place a Family Device Agreement.
Family Device Agreement
To support your children at home, we recommend that families create a Family Device Agreement. An online family device agreement is a great way to start a conversation so that everyone in your family stays safe and behaves responsibly online.
A family agreement can help you to:
- Have conversations about online safety.
- Set clear and realistic expectations and boundaries.
- Teach and model responsible and upstanding online behaviour.
- Provide consistent guidelines for all family members, promoting fairness and understanding of the rules and expectations surrounding device and internet usage.
- Prevent issues such as cyberbullying, exposure to inappropriate content, online harassment, and excessive screen time by establishing proactive measures and guidelines.
- Family Bonding: It encourages family members to work together, discuss, and mutually agree on the rules, strengthening family bonds and fostering a sense of collective responsibility.
Use the Family Agreement Template (download link below) and read more about these helpful tools at esafety. Remember, the agreement is for the entire family, so involve everyone and keep it visible for reference.
All lunch orders need to be placed via the Compass platform, and no longer purchased with cash. A reminder that cut-off time for ordering lunch, for staff and students, 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. Thank you for your support of our canteen processes.
PARISH MASS TIMES AT ALSTONVILLE
Saturday Mass - 6.00 pm
Sunday Mass - 8.30 am
FATHERS DAY STALL - THURSDAY 31 AUGUST
The Fathers Day stall will be held in McCarthy Hall on Thursday, 31st August 2023. Cards, gift bags and a variety of awesome gifts for dad are available from 50c to $7. Each student who purchases a gift will go in the draw to win a special gift bag for Dad. See below for the gifts which are on offer this year and their prices.
We will also need some volunteer parents to assist on the day. Please contact the school office if you can spare any time. Set up will be from 11 am and the stall will be open from lunch for each stage.