What a wonderful sight it was on Monday morning to see a group of parents brave the unpredictable weather and join us for the first assembly in a very, very long time that parents were able to be on site for. We hope to see many more of you join us whenever you have the time. Please know that you are always welcome.
Backpack Drive for Flood Victims
Thank you so much for your overwhelming generosity of backpacks for the children of the Lismore area. The way our children have engaged with this simple, yet so meaningful and worthwhile initiative is touching. They have proudly come in with the packs, beam with smiles from ear to ear when we comment on what a great colour or style the packs are and then excitedly share with us what’s inside them. You are doing a great job of modelling to your children how rewarding serving others can be. It gives me great faith that we have a very socially aware and just generation evolving. Please remember to keep all those who have been affected by the floods.
Harmony Day - March 21st
Harmony Day is a time to celebrate Australian multiculturalism, and the successful integration of migrants into our community. Our cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths and is at the heart of who we are. It makes Australia a great place to live.
Australia is one of the most successful multicultural countries in the world and we should celebrate this and work to maintain it.
This day is about inclusiveness, respect and belonging for all Australians, regardless of cultural or linguistic background, united by a set of core Australian values.
Orange is the colour chosen to represent Harmony Day. Traditionally, orange signifies social communication and meaningful conversations. It also relates to the freedom of ideas and encouragement of mutual respect. We encourage all students and staff to either wear the traditional dress of various nations that may be linked to their cultural heritage or a place they have visited or alternatively to wear something orange on Harmony Day to show their support for cultural diversity and an inclusive Australia.
On Monday 21st March we will start the day with a Harmony Day themed liturgy that parents are welcome to join. Throughout the day the children will engage in activities that help them be more aware of the diversity in our country and the value that this brings to our lives and our nation. We will also celebrate the day with a multicultural menu at the canteen, which is now on Qkr.
You might like to watch this short video clip to learn little more about the day. It is suitable for the whole family. What is Harmony Day
This week another thing that has returned to the ‘old normal’ is the opening of the canteen for over-the-counter sales at recess and the second half of lunch. This news certainly brought a smile to the faces of many children. Let’s keep them smiling by keeping the canteen open. If you have some time available and have completed all the necessary volunteers documentation, we would love to see you helping out in the canteen.
I met with the SRC last week and introduced the idea of a competition for renaming the canteen or, deciding to keep with ‘Joeys at the Junction’. All children will be invited to suggest a name for the canteen and then we will collect thoughts on the most popular and appropriate name and then arrange for new signage.
The SRC have also been asked to start thinking about healthy food items they would like to be sold at the canteen and they will also consult with their classmates to offer ideas at an upcoming meeting.
For the safety of all in our community, please ensure that you do not clip open the gate open of a morning. A member of staff is the only authorised person to do this. If you see the gate clipped open and no staff out the front please unclip it and close the gate.
Class Parents expression of interest form and email contact form
School Support Dog Withdrawal of Consent form
Have a lovely weekend and may the sun continue to shine over all of us.
|17 March||St Joseph's Day Liturgy|
|21 March||Harmony Day|
|23 March||Cross Country - Years 2 - 6|
Neurodiversity Celebration Week
Students who think and learn differently have many strengths and talents. Most neurodivergent students work very hard to overcome the challenges and obstacles caused by their learning differences.
Neurodiversity Celebration Week provides schools with the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the many strengths, talents, and advantages of being neurodivergent. At St Josephs’ we are continually working to create a more inclusive school environment that embraces the benefits and positive aspects of thinking and learning differently and empowers every student to reach their potential.
During this week we will be celebrating by sharing lessons and resources with our students and shining a light on all the amazing things you can achieve as a neurodivergent learner. Students have already begun making posters to share information with our school community.
Parents can find more information and access resources here
National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence – Out of Uniform Day
Friday 18 March 2022 is the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence (NDA). Australia’s key bullying prevention initiative celebrates 12 years of action, connecting schools and communities to find workable solutions to prevent bullying.
The theme for 2022 is Kindness Culture. By building Kindness Culture together, we can promote inclusion, respect and community belonging for all students in schools across Australia.
To recognise the importance of this day we will be having an assembly on Friday morning (18th March) and an out of uniform day. Students are asked to dress for the theme “Uniquely You”. Across the day, students will take part in anti-bullying activities supported by our Year 6 students.
The theme of the day encourages all of us to take a stand together and recognise the important role that everyone plays to stop bullying.
Positive Behaviours for Learning (PBL)
Students are very much engaged with the Dash tokens. It is wonderful to see the PBL containers in the classrooms filling up! Students may receive tokens in class or on the playground. Staff are looking for, and able to reward positive behaviour across all four expectations:
- Act Safely
- Be Respectful
- Care For All
- Do Your Best
Congratulations to the Green Sports Colour House for achieving the most tokens in the first half of this term! Students in this sports house have enjoyed an out of uniform day.
Our focus this fortnight is Care for All - Care for the place you are in. In class students are learning that by caring for the places we are in, we show love, respect, gratitude and appreciation for the gifts we have been given. Students will be focusing on looking after the environment and identifying sustainable practices at both home and school. If you have an opportunity, please discuss these concepts with your children.
Our care for God's world
As Christians we believe that we are not only a part of God's Creation, but have a responsibility of stewardship over this world upon which we live. Governments and others might disagree but science and experience tells us that this world is being damaged through our neglect and selfishness.
Creator God, who placed this planet
and all its resources into our care,
encourage those who now remind us
of our responsibilities, both to you
and future generations, to do all
that is necessary, whatever the cost,
to save this world that we call home,
so our children and theirs might not
look back, both in shame and anger,
at what we, in denial, have failed to do.
Second Week of Lent: Project Compassion
This week through Project Compassion we learn about Biru's and his story.
As a person with a disability living in remote India, Biru faced the prospect of a life of poverty and discrimination.
Biru lives in a rural village in India. He lost mobility in one of his legs, after contracting polio as a child, which makes it difficult for him to walk. He managed to complete his education until grade six but was always dependent on his parents to get him to school because he was unable to walk so far on his own.
A member of India’s Ho ethnic minority population, Biru started to work as a shepherd from a young age, looking after other people’s cattle. He continued this work, after he married his wife, Budhni, and had four daughters, even though keeping up with the cattle was a challenge.
With support from CARITAS, he participated in entrepreneurship training and gained the skills to become financially independent.
Here is his story
Over 26 million people who have a disability in India also live in poverty. A further 69 percent of the population living with a disability reside in rural areas, which makes access to support services, education and employment an even greater challenge.
We thank our community for your contributions to Project Compassion so far.
St Joey’s Social Justice News
St Joey’s Social Justice (SJSJ) is our school social justice initiative. This team replaced the team known as “Mini Vinnies”. It is similar to Mini Vinnies but will incorporate other initiatives as well as those we do for the St Vincent de Paul Society, such as Catholic Mission and Caritas Australia. St Joey’s Social Justice is a group of primary school young people, Years 3-6, who get together to organise events and help those in need within their own school and local community with the aim to focus on living faith through the actions of Catholic Social teachings. Students in SJSJ have a made a commitment to being a part of the 2022 group and have already been working on promoting Project Compassion this term. We have three students, Emma, Shloka and Zara who have volunteered to be the Caritas Project Compassion Animators and we thank them for their dedication and commitment to this great cause.
SJSJ will meet regularly to discuss issues of concern, to share ideas, to have fun and support each other. The actions of the SJSJ group will generally involve three components:
See (know) – to be aware of different people’s hardships and to develop empathy.
Judge (think) – to develop a real understanding of needs in the world and through discussion and reflection share thoughts about possible solutions.
Act (do) – supporting the disadvantaged through community service and fundraising for Catholic agencies.
Student News from SJSJ members – by Shloka, Zara and Emma
SJSJ is a group of students that donate and raise money for people all around the world. This year, we are also focusing on our planet and the environment. SJSJ now has 3 student representatives from Year 6, Emma S, Zara D, and Shloka T.
Last week started the 1st week of Project Compassion from Caritas. To help raise awareness and money, we did a DVD drive. We chaeged a gold coin donation for each DVD cost and almost every class in the school purchased an item.
Last week was Shrove (Pancake) Tuesday and to celebrate, our school started a drawing competition. We had to create art about pancakes and whoever won in each class got a pancake mix to cook and share with their family. Everyone thought it was a great idea and really enjoyed this activity.
Every Monday at assembly, we talk about a person or family who has benefited from Project Compassion and what we can do to help.
We were excited today to officially receive our t-shirts from Mrs O’Neill for the work we are doing to support Caritas as their school animators.
St Joseph’s Day
Our school feast day will be celebrated on Thursday 17th March beginning with a whole school liturgy under the COLA at 9am. Fun class activities and tabloids will follow before lunch, so we ask all children to wear their sport uniform.
Hello Parents and Friends,
My name is Alice Noble and I am privileged to be joining the beautiful community of St. Joseph’s at Merewether this year as the EALD (English as an Additional Language or Dialect) Teacher.
My role is to support students from different language backgrounds to meet individual language outcomes as they move through their schooling.
I have been made to feel very welcome by your community so far, and I’ve loved getting to know the students and teachers. I very much look forward to meeting families as the year progresses.
I am excited to announce that we will be celebrating the cultural diversity at St. Joseph’s on Monday, 21st March 2022 with HARMONY DAY . We will begin the day with a whole school liturgy in the COLA, followed by activities in class. Students are invited to wear orange, rainbow colours or personal traditional cultural dress.
PSSA Winter Sports Trials
Unfortunately, due to the bad weather we have had, some Diocesan trials have been cancelled and postponed. Touch football has been postponed to next Tuesday, 15th March, and cricket will be Thursday 17th March.
The Diocesan AFL trials will be held next Wednesday 16th March, with the Netball and League Diocesan trials both on Friday 18th March. We have our fingers and toes crossed for better weather next week to hopefully avoid more cancellations.
The 2022 St Joseph’s Cross Country Carnival will be held in Week 9 on Wednesday, 23rd March. We are fortunate that restrictions have eased and we are able to head back to Empire Park in Bar Beach to compete. Students will walk over with their class at 9am and return with their class after their age group and class has raced. Students will need a drink bottle for the day, and it is advised students put on sunscreen before they come to school. We will also have a supply of sunscreen on the day if any students need it.
Below is a reminder of the distances and qualifying times for each age bracket. 8 & 9 year olds will race as one category, as will the 12 &13 year olds.
Distance to run
8, 9 or 10 yr boys
8, 9 or 10 yr girls
11 or 12 yr boys
11 or 12 yr girls
We hope all students enjoy the day and we look forward to watching them compete.
The sun is setting on another beautiful day at Pleasantville Zoo and guests are saying their final goodbyes to the animals for the night. As Zookeepers close the gates before they end their day something unexpected happens. The power goes out! Are the animals safe? Are they still in their enclosures? What could possible have caused the blackout?
“This zoo is about to have another animal addition because I’m feeling pretty chicken right about now” – Night Security Guard Ralph
With the help of Pleasantville Zoo staff, audiences will be taken on an exciting adventure through the zoo to ensure all is quiet and race to turn the power back on before morning.
The show must go on and St Joseph’s Primary School Merewether is proudly adopting that mantra for our rescheduled original musical production “An Unexpected Night at the Zoo”. The entire school community are setting off on our latest theatrical journey unlike any other with classes set to sing, dance and act their way to our performances in Week 5 of Term 3.
Our performances will take place at The Factory Theatre - St Pius X High School Adamstown.
Matinee Performance: Wednesday 17th August 11am
Evening Performance: Thursday 18th August 6pm
We look forward to sharing our rehearsal process over the next few months.
6B Classroom News
Although we have all been faced with a few challenges to the start of the year, 6 Blue have hit the ground running! From meeting and guiding their buddies, to learning about their own transitions for High School and everything in between, Lucas P, Hugh Mulley, Anna K and Edie C are here to tell you all about it!
Wow, what a start the Kindergarten students have all had, having lots of fun and meeting new friends. 6 Blue and 6 Gold have been there to help them on their way. We are sure that the Kinders were all extremely nervous and scared, but we know they have become more comfortable with us and with others in the St Joseph’s community.
For the past few weeks, Year Six has helped the Kindergarten students ease into school life by greeting them at the gate to direct them to class, helping them where to go on some afternoons and assisted during lunch times. Our buddies have had fun on the slide with their friends, or equally enjoyed sitting in a sunny spot on a rock, soaking it all in. Year Six were even lucky enough to join in a Maths lesson with Kindergarten to play Bingo! Boy, were we blown away with their mathematical skills and knowledge!
As a small little person, they looked up to us Year Six Students. They see us as adults! All the buddies have had an amazing start and they will continue to rise and grow over the next few years.
Our leadership team this year is wonderful, and we are privileged to be part of it. Even though it is exciting, it also comes with duty and responsibilities and people look up to us as Year Six leaders of the school and colour houses.
Many new changes have been set up this year. Due to the normal play time again, we have been given an exciting role to give out student leader awards and will be giving them out to students who we think have been following our PBL expectations and being an amazing student. There will be 4 handed out each week. We as leaders are friendly, helpful, kind and will be willing to help you, so don’t be scared to ask us a question!
The Leadership Team are also doing ‘duties’ on the playground at lunch and recess. We are following a timetable where we rotate each week. We will help students do the right thing and be helping them around the playground e.g. helping them at the canteen when it is recess. This is when we are going to be looking out for people who will receive an award!
High school is a big transition after Year 6, and it can be quite daunting. We will be presented with an array of opportunities at different schools from boarding schools to normal High Schools. The most important skills needed for high school are organisation and time management! These are valuable qualities which we will focus on and try to develop at Primary School but is especially important in High School, as well as life after school when working as adults.
To get us ready for High School, our teachers have been helping us to take responsibility for our own work and organisation. We have been utilising our diaries to record upcoming events, reminders or homework tasks.
In addition, we had the school principal, Mr Burgess, from St Clemente with 2 ex-students from St Joseph’s come into school and talk to us about the facilities and school life that is on offer. It was quite interesting to hear what it is like in a high school, especially one that lots of us may consider going to. Overall, High School will be an exciting and creative time in our lives, but also a little bit daunting and scary. We hope we are well prepared for what is to come.
Our Personal Portfolio
6 Blue have also begun creating our own Personal Portfolios where we are designing a front cover and title pages for Maths, English and ‘other’ subjects. We will use our portfolios to collect and include assessments, work samples and other items we create which we are proud of. At the end of the year, we will take our personal portfolios home to share with our families and keep as a reminder of all the wonderful work we completed in our last year of Primary School. We have already started to individually select work samples which are proud to include in our portfolios and we can't wait to share them with you!
What have we been learning about?
Our Personal Profiles
Last week 6 Blue finished off an investigation we completed for Maths. Our task was to create a table of our own personal characteristics with specific measurements, and then decorate it. We agreed on 10 to 17 characteristics as a class and then individually planned how we would measure these characteristics e.g. how to calculate our average speed in 2 kilometres, how far we could jump, how many days we had been alive for and our resting heart rate (not using a smart watch!).
Batteries, wires, motors, and light bulbs! We all enjoyed experimenting with each element, but most students loved working with the motors and putting little bits of paper on the top, watching them spin around, and when you blow it off, it soars into the sky. The only tricky thing was drawing pictures of the circuits we made and using the right vocabulary. We have also made electrical circuits which power light and allow movement which has been really fun to experiment with!
The most exciting part of science is our project we are working on, where we will be required to design a ride for a fairground! We will need to incorporate light and movement into our creation. Watch this space for our amazing designs!
The Mighty Write
Year Six are participating in a writing competition called ‘The Mighty Write,’ which is all about being a ruler for the day. We have the power to do anything we want, like make everyone pay for things with marshmallows or enforce a no homework policy. We could also make things illegal, like wars.
We may wish to write a story, poem or even a letter to important people and leaders like Vladimir Putin or Scott Morrison. The Mighty Write is a worldwide competition with lots of prizes on the line. Some of the prizes are a Google dot for your classroom or some Pobble merchandise!
To do this we first needed to have a plan. There were some different ways to plan like using a story graph, dot points or a mind map. We could plan in any way which felt organised our ideas clearly. Once we had gathered our ideas and thought about how we wanted to approach this task, off we went to show how ‘mighty’ we could write! We can’t wait to share our written pieces of work with you!
In HSIE, we began the unit learning about democracy, Australia's Federation, how Australia became a nation and of the certain figures in Australia’s history who shaped the country we are today. We also explored the theme of human rights around the world, but in particular the effects it has had on the Indigenous Aboriginals. Can you believe that they could not enter a pub or restaurant or swim in a local pool just because of the colour of their skin! People could also legally take children away if their mother was black simply because the children were deemed ‘neglected.’ This had a huge effect on the rights of Aboriginal Australians.
Indigenous Aboriginals had to forget many years of their life and culture. They were often not able to be paid the same or given the same opportunities as their white counterparts. The human rights we know today were not followed and adhered to for Aboriginals and are sometimes still happening today.
By Luca P, Edie C, Hugh M and Anna K
After a staggered start to the year we are thrilled to announce with the changing restrictions our St Joseph’s School Choir is BACK for Term One. Anyone who would like to come along and try a choir session is invited to attend rehearsals on Thursdays in the hall where we can continue to space out and be safe.
Senior Choir = Lunchtime for students in Year 3 through Year 6.
Junior Choir = Recess time for students in Years 1 and 2.
Singing with the choir is all about having fun and feeling confident. Choir members attend weekly rehearsals and each term focus on different elements of singing. In Term One we have already started building our repertoire with a cover of ‘Something Just Like This’ by One Voice Children’s Choir.
We look forward to seeing and hearing all our budding singers on Thursdays.
Welcome back to the library – it has been wonderful to see so many smiling faces in the library before school and at recess. Come and see us at these times if you want to borrow, draw, play chess or just read quietly. Here are some of our visitors this week
Premier's Reading Challenge (PRC)
At St Joseph’s we encourage all our students to complete the challenge. Kinder and Year 1 students received their logon details and some PRC information this week.
Logon and passwords for all other students are the same as in past years. Students know they can come and ask for these details if they can’t remember them.
Some people have been very busy. Congratulations Freya A, Xavier C, Gabriel F, Jersey F and Erica L who have already completed their challenge.
Everyone has until 19th August to read their books.
Don’t forget you can access ebooks using the Sora app. Students' school username and password are all that you need. These books can also be included in your Premier’s Reading Challenge list.
ASPIRE's 2022 Junior Theatre Makers Program
ASPIRE’s Junior Theatre Makers Ensemble for Years 5– 8 is again offering creative drama programs across the Diocese in 2022 throughout Terms 2 and 3.
Term 2 will be all about learning and skills with a focus on play building. Ensemble members will work through an array of exercises relating to character, physical and image based theatre. The ensemble will be led by a local theatre expert and will also receive a workshop from ASPIRE Artistic Director Anna Kerrigan.
Term 3 will be spent creating an original short performance piece which will be performed on Tuesday 20 September 2022 at the Civic Playhouse, Newcastle. All three groups will come together to rehearse for the day before performing an integrated piece that evening.
This is a great opportunity to learn in a fun environment with like-minded students. Places in the program are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
Starting next week (Week 8) Students from Kinder-Year 6 are invited to be a part of Ukulele Club that will run in the Music Room at lunch times on Tuesdays. Students will need to bring their own ukulele from home to participate and will be given a book to learn from. We will work in small groups informally to learn together how to strum and play chords to learn songs. If students do not have their own ukulele they can be purchased from Muso Corner for $32.00. We have four ukuleles in the music room that can be shared by students who do not have their own.
I look forward to sharing ukulele club’s efforts with the school community in the near future.
Thank you, Mrs Butler (Music Teacher)