What a term this has been! Some days it seems like the start of the school year was so far, far away, and other days it seems like it was only here yesterday. It has been an incredibly intense, busy and challenging term but what has been wonderful is the fact that we have not had to go back into lockdown, we have not had to combine or split classes due to COVID related staff shortages, we no longer are required to separate the children on the playground, and we can welcome our families back in once more. This is all definitely something to celebrate.
We also are about to come into the most important time in our church calendar – Holy Week and Easter, and I hope that this Easter with your families you are able to celebrate the new life that Easter represents for us as well as to take some time out to reflect on how Easter represents hope.
Easter is a reminder to us that there is hope after hardship. On Good Friday, Jesus was betrayed, trialled, beaten, rejected, and hung to die on a cross. His followers were confused, afraid and … hopeless.
But on Sunday, a path to hope was revealed. Jesus rose back to life. His victory over death – and all the pain and hurt he experienced – gives us hope for our lives. Jesus offers to help us in our times of trouble, he gives us purpose for lives today, and a promise for the future.
How powerful it would be if we all prayed for hope in a world that is still very much in need of this at this time. Let us pray that those in the Ukraine, those in flood affected areas, those affected by violence and abuse, those affected by Covid and those experiencing loneliness or separation from loved ones will experience the power of hope this Easter.
Student - Led Conferences
Next term we will be introducing something a little different to our regular parent-teacher interviews, which normally occur after you receive your children’s Semester One reports. In Weeks 4 and 5 of next term we will be holding student-led conferences. You will be asked to book a time, just like your regular meetings, however this time, instead of the conversations being led primarily by the teachers, the students will lead these. They will share a few chosen work samples with you and discuss these, they will share how they believe they are going and, together, with the children, parents and teachers, goal setting will take place. We will share further information about these conferences, the benefits of them and when and how they will operate, early next term. We are really looking forward to implementing these and to providing both student voices and accountability to their learning as well deepening our relationships between home and school.
What a Big Vegie Crunch!
On Thursday 31 March at 10am, our school participated in The Big Vegie Crunch as part of Vegetable Week. Thank you for packing vegetables for your children to crunch on for the event.
We joined around 450 other schools across NSW trying to break the record for the most children eating vegetables simultaneously.
The final numbers are still being tallied but it looks like close to 100,000 students crunched together and a further 5,000 students crunched over Vegetable Week.
That was a lot of vegetable eating! We hope that they continue to enjoy crunching on vegies and that they may ask for a few more in their lunchboxes or crunch and sip containers than what they previously did.
As you can see by our photo collection there were certainly a lot of creative crunchers out there and some very crazy ones as well!
Need ideas to help your family eat more vegies? Then check out the Up the Veg at Home resource Up The Vege At Home.
Please ensure that you don’t miss our new P&F section within our fortnightly newsletters. The first one is included in this newsletter. The P&F are a great component of our school and I strongly encourage you to support them.
|25 April||ANZAC Day|
|26 April||First Day of Term 2|
|4 May||Diocesan Cross Country|
Holy Thursday Prayer
You show us by example how to love others.
Today as we celebrate Holy Thursday, we remember when you washed the feet of your disciples.
Give us the strength to wash each other’s feet, not only in the ritual moment of today, but in all moments of our lives, particularly during these challenging days.
May we as a community recommit ourselves to the service of others.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord.
The Season of Lent
Lent is a period of preparation in the Church’s Liturgical Year that orients the community towards Holy Week and the Season of Easter. It is a time of prayer, fasting and good works. It is also a special time of solidarity with those who are entering their final period of preparation for initiation into the Christian community at Easter. The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and concludes on Holy Thursday Evening (the Vigil of Good Friday). Ash Wednesday is designated as an obligatory day of fasting and abstinence.
Holy Week and Easter
Our school community will gather to celebrate Easter on two special occasions.
On Wednesday our Holy Week led by Year 5 recalled the main events of Jesus’ last days. This prayerful liturgy began with Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. This followed by remembering the time when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper, when Peter denied Jesus and when Jesus was mocked by the soldiers. Lastly, during our Holy Week liturgy we recalled the events of Jesus’ death upon the cross. Thank you, to Year 5 and their teachers for leading our liturgy for us.
On the first day of Term 2, Tuesday 26th April at morning assembly, we will gather under the COLA to joyfully to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. We will celebrate that Jesus, who was dead, now lives again! This means we may all rejoice knowing that Jesus shares His new life with us and we are filled with joy. Year 4 will be leading us in this liturgy. You are most welcome to join us for this.
The Holy Season of Easter
Next Sunday, Christians all around the world will celebrate the feast of Easter and contemplate the life, passion, death mystery and meaning of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
On Easter Sunday we will celebrate the feast of the Resurrection. We celebrate that Jesus, who was dead, now lives again! We celebrate his risen life, his new life, our new life. We can rejoice because He is risen from the dead. Jesus shares his new life with us, and we are full of joy. So, this Sunday find some moments of joy in your lives as a family.
Easter is not just Easter Sunday. After Easter Sunday, the Easter Season continues for the next 50 days ending at Pentecost, the Church’s birthday. Let us all pray together in this holy season, that we will be inspired to actively participate in the liberation that God, the resurrected Christ, brings for all people.
We pray you and your family have a safe and happy Easter together – Alleluia!
Celebrating Easter 2022
The Easter Triduum will be celebrated in the City Pastoral Region as below:
For further information in regard to Easter Mass times around our diocese, please click here.
Or downlaod the Mass times app
Parish Sacramental Program
Congratulations to the children in Years 4, 5 and 6 who are commencing their preparation in the Sacramental Program for 2022. These three sacraments: Reconciliation, Confirmation and Holy Communion continues and completes the journey of initiation the children started at their Baptism. As a community we pray for each child’s journey ahead. May the experience deepen their faith and may they feel even more fully God’s limitless love.
Thank you to everyone for your generous donation this Lenten Season for the great work of Project Compassion and Caritas Australia. On Harmony Day, with out-of-uniform and the DVD sale and from our class donations we raised over $900 to donate to Caritas.
This fortnight, click on the link to read more about the great work of Project Compassion.
In Week 2 next term, our school ANZAC Day Liturgy will be held on Monday, 26th of April at 11:30am under the COLA.
ANZAC Day Commemoration Service at Mitchell Street Merewether
Members from the Student Leadership Team as well as the Student Council will be representing our school at the ANZAC Commemoration Service at Townsend Oval, Merewether. This service is organised by the Merewether-Hamilton-Adamstown RSL Sub-Branch and begins at 6.30am at the memorial gates entrance on Mitchell Street.
All families are most welcome to attend.
It would be wonderful if children who attend from St Joseph’s can wear their full Winter school uniform. This will be a special time to gather and commemorate together and support our leaders during the laying of the wreath and the reading of the epitaph. Students are welcome to stand together.
66th Annual Newcastle and Hunter Combined Schools ANZAC Commemorative Event
On Tuesday 5th April, Year 6 went to Civic Theatre to experience an interesting service about Anzac Day. Students from Callaghan College, Merewether High and St Francis Xavier all participated in this service and performed a brilliant show for many school-aged students from across the Newcastle and Maitland areas. These talented teenagers were not just telling us facts, they were informing as well as inspiring us to learn more about this terrible but historic time.
This Year’s Theme
This year's 66th Annual Anzac Commemorative Event theme recognises the service of animals to Australia in War. In 2006, Animal Aid decided to associate the purple poppies with animals who died serving, rather than humans. Purple Poppies Day is a day which commemorates animals’ involvement in wars. The colour purple represents bravery and in some parts of the world, death and mourning. The poppy obviously represents the remembrance of war.
The service began with a short skit about animal deaths in the war. The focus circulated around the Purple Poppy, which as you know, represents the support of animals in war and this was the first thing discussed. The animals were loyal enough to never leave their soldier’s side, and to assist them in their time of need.
The Roles of Animals in the War
Pigeons played a very important role in the wars. They were used as messengers to give information in code to people at separate places. Around two thirds of Australia’s Dickin medals were given to pigeons. Unfortunately, they were a target of German sharpshooters. They had ‘pigeons’ on string flying down across the stage, and in the background were some pigeons on sticks. They talked about a pigeon that survived a peregrine falcon attack to send a message. When we walked out of the theater, they released real pigeons.
A mule is the offspring of a female horse and male donkey. They were used to carry artillery, supplies, and even wounded soldiers. Outside of the theater, a veteran had a horse on a rope. There are about 12 mules left in Australia. In the wars, they were in high demand because they were apparently the second-best animal to help in wars.
Only a dog who has been in wars can be completely classified as a man’s best friend. Medium-sized dogs and larger dogs could be used as messengers, patrols, guards or for transportation. They played a very important role in wars and could not be replaced. ‘Captain Razz’ as he was sometimes called, was loved by the soldiers. Unfortunately, in 2007, he sacrificed his life, stepping on a pressure plate in the Afghanistan War, saving the lives of many others.
After many tales about the role of animals who supported Australians in war, came the raising and lowering of the flag with a minute silence where several Military Cadets came to stage, holding arms facing behind them around an empty coffin. The ‘coffin’ commemorated the deaths of every soldier in the war. We watched as retired soldiers and other adults placed poppies gently on the ‘grave’ Then, two students from Hamilton South Public read out the Ode of Remembrance:
"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."
Before the commemorative event had begun, whilst waiting outside the Civic Theatre, we were lucky enough to gain a small insight into the life of a military civilian who imparted his knowledge and experience with us all.
When we asked him if he had fought in the war, he replied that he had not, but that he helped with the war. He was part of the Australian Air Force and flew an Australian fighter jet called the CA-27 Sabre. He was the number 76 and he flew across the English Channel at a speed of two times the speed of sound. He showed us old photos of his jet and pictures of himself during his time of service.
Throughout the service we were constantly reminded of three words we should endeavour to remember. Three words that past servicemen would like us to remember and reflect on. Three words that indicate the importance of such a historic event in Australia's history. Lest - We - Forget. For them it was a time of hardship. A time of loss. A time of sacrifice.
It is a time for us all to remember and reflect on the many service men and women who have served our country.
Lest We Forget.
Written By Liam C, Anna K, Sasha M, Joe S and Emma S
Last week we held trials at school for futsal and we were blown away by the enthusiasm from Grades 3-6 and their willingness to challenge themselves and to have a go. The talent we received was of a high standard and it was quite tough to make the selections.
Please congratulate the following successful students who made it into the futsal team to represent St Joseph’s on 30th May. More information for the selected teams will be given next term.
Boys Jnr Under 10’s
Boys Snr Under 12’s
Girls Snr Under 12’s
PSSA Pathway Success stories
Isaac Moran has made it through to Polding selections. He will now be representing St Joseph’s and Polding and competing for State! We wish him all the best.
Callum V H, Jacob F, Mason V H, Theo S and Elliot M all trialed on Tuesday 5th April for the Polding Selections. It was a tough competition and they ALL played extremely well and should be very proud of themselves. We have also had amazing success with Elliot M, Theo S and Jacob F making it through to the next round, representing Polding and competing at state level. We wish them all the success in their AFL endeavours.
Sidney M, Callum V H and Harry Hardy will be competing at Polding selections for Rugby League. We hope they enjoy the experience.
Our Annual St Joseph’s Athletics Carnival will be held on Wednesday 11th May. Students from Years 2-6 will have an opportunity to compete in sprint and endurance races of 100m, 200m and 800m, along with participating in shot put and long jump events. Parents are welcome to attend, and we would love some parent helpers if you were available. Kinder and Year 1 will participate in the 100m race along with other fun activities such as spoon races and sack races.
During the holidays, you might like to help your children train for these events.
More information will be sent out soon regarding parent volunteers, student nominations for certain races and other specifics.
NAPLAN Online Practice Test
This week Years 3 and 5 participated in the NAPLAN Online Practice Test. This was an opportunity for the students to use the NAPLAN Locked Browser and experience the style of questions and ways to give responses. It was also an opportunity to test the NAPLAN platform and see if the system would cope with thousands of users at the same time. All students completed the practice tests with commitment and diligence. As mentioned previously, the NAPLAN testing fortnight for 2022 is the 10th-20th May.
Positive Behaviours for Learning (PBL)
We have had a very successful first term implementation of PBL at St Joseph’s. Students have enjoyed explicit PBL lessons, and we have seen much of their learning exhibited in both the classroom and playground. This term we have had a focus on:
- Act Safely – Using safe hands and feet
- Being Respectful – Including others
- Care for all – Care for the place you are in
- Do Your Best – Learn and let others learn
Our PBL Dash Tokens have been a great way to instantly reward students when they demonstrate positive behaviour. Green Sports Colour House were successful in accumulating the most tokens in the first half of the term. Students across K-6 in the Green House enjoyed an out-of-uniform day in Week 6.
It is our pleasure to announce that the Colour House with the most tokens for the second half of the term was Red Sports House. Congratulations to the students in the Red House! Early next term we will be gathering as a group and deciding what their reward will be.
Well done to all for their efforts with our PBL this term!
Student Council News
This week, the Student Council launched a Canteen Naming Competition as part of our upcoming Canteen revitalisation project.
All students can get involved and share their ideas for a new canteen name. Entry forms will be sent home with your child today. Please be sure to check your child’s backpack for the form with further details below. Alternatively, you may wish to complete the online form: Canteen Naming Competition Form
Entries can be returned to the school office by Friday 29th April (Term 2 Week 1).
Social and Fundraising events
Did you know that the P&F shapes and coordinates many of the social and fundraising events at St Josephs? Our 2022 P&F event calendar kicked off in a flurry of colour and excitement with the highly anticipated Easter Raffle!
Together, we raised a whopping $3,300 towards our 2022 fundraising target (watch this space!).
We have a bunch of exciting things planned for Term 2, including:
- Mother’s Day breakfast - Friday 6 May
- School disco
- Movie night
These events can’t happen without our generous volunteers. If you’re keen to get involved, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org or come along to our next meeting on Monday 2nd May.
2022 Fundraising Goal
In Term 2, we will be announcing our fundraising goal for 2022. It will be an exciting project that will really enrich our children’s learning and we can’t wait to share it with you, so watch this space!
In the meantime, if you are a builder or estimator and can donate a small amount of your time to help us determine a rough estimate for our revamp project, please get in touch at email@example.com or via the school office for more information.
Now that canteen is back on the menu following our COVID hiatus and reduced operations, we have some exciting plans to revamp our canteen and menu!
Calling all creative kiddos and budding entrepreneurs! Get involved in our canteen naming competition for your chance to name the school canteen and win a $10 voucher to spend at the canteen. The naming competition closes Friday 29th April. The details are in the student leaders section of the newsletter and will be on Compass as well. We can’t wait to see all the creative entries come through.
We will start term 2 off with another competition, where students get to suggest items to put on the canteen menu. Your children might like to spend some time these holidays thinking and researching to create a delicious, healthy menu for our school canteen!
Are you our new canteen coordinator?
We’re on the hunt for some volunteers to take on the shared role of canteen coordinator. You’ll have the opportunity to help to shape and promote our canteen and lead an exciting student-led canteen initiative in Term 2. This role does not include stock ordering, rostering or working in the canteen and you can read more about it below. Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
KB Classroom News
Kinder Blue have been working hard and enjoying learning new things every day. We have had a great term and love learning!
Successful Foundations provided students with open-ended play for the first hour of the day for the first five weeks of Term 1. It provided children with the opportunity to actively demonstrate their knowledge and interests, build relationships and become familiar with the context of school. Kinder Blue love the play spaces and have settled well into St Joseph’s. They all love coming to school every day!
In Kindergarten, we have been learning about rhyme, initial and end sounds in words and blending sounds. We have learnt the names and sounds for the letters: m, s, t, a, p, I, f and r. Kinder Blue have loved listening to a variety of Julia Donaldson storybooks and learning new vocabulary words from the stories. We also made our own Gruffalo puppets
In Mathematics, we have been learning recognising, counting and representing numbers. We have learnt about adding and subtracting and sharing in equal groups. We love using our hands
In RE, we have been learning about God as a loving Father and how we show love and respect for others. We have learnt that Lent is a time to become closer to God by giving thanks, spending time talking to God, and showing God’s love by helping others.
In History, we shared our family trees with our classmates and learnt about each other’s backgrounds.
In Science, we have been learning about the way objects move. We investigated which marble would roll the furthest on different surfaces in a science experiment. We predicted, conducted a fair test and recorded the results.
Kindergarten Blue have thoroughly enjoyed their first term at St Joseph’s. We can’t wait to keep playing, learning and living the truth!
Virtual Academy Mentoring
Our Virtual Academy students are well under way with their learning activities. Their new unit Agency exposes the students to a range of subjects by studying a variety of individuals and responding, critically and creatively, about the way they have chosen to express their agency. Students are also involved in the problem-solving process through the creation of a portfolio that will assist them in developing their own composition to express their sense of self (personal identity, thoughts, choices and actions). As students undertake these activities, they will seek to answer the focus question:
How does a sense of self have influence?
Here at St. Joseph’s, we are in the second year of implementing a mentoring program that allows our students to meet with their self-nominated Class Teacher Mentor once a fortnight to share highlights of their learning, ask questions to clarify understanding and to receive feedback on their tasks.
Here are some comments from a portion of our current Virtual Academy students:
This year so far in Virtual Academy we have been working on the Agency unit. In this unit we have been exploring the question: How does a sense of self have influence? Our agency can be our sense of self. It is who we think we are, and no-one can tell us differently. We will be working on the agency unit in Semester 1 and we will be working on the Adaptations unit in Semester 2.
The work in the VA so far has involved lots of valuable learning experiences. We have looked at how different factors, such as age and education, can affect one's agency to do certain things. We have also explored our own agency and looked at our different passions to see if that affects our agency.
In the VA we have a mentor system. This mentor is a class teacher at our school. We check in with our mentor every fortnight and share things like work we are proud of, what we are working on at the moment and any questions we may have regarding the VA. My mentor is Mrs. Charnock. The last time I met up with her we discussed what agency really means so we could both get a better understanding of what I and the other people in VA are learning this semester. Mentors are very valuable as they give VA students another person that they can reach out to, ask questions, share their work to and someone who can give really valuable suggestions.
VA has been amazing so far and I can't wait for what's to come!
VA has been such a fun and enjoyable experience! It has been a way for me to connect with myself and use my originality in my work. It is also a way for me to create, design and go through the process of making projects big and small. It has let me do my own work with my own ideas.
I can't wait for what's next in my VA experience! I also enjoy being able to do this experience with my friends and my great mentor teacher, Miss Slattery.
This Semester in the Virtual Academy (VA) we are doing the Agency Unit. In this unit we are creating a composition to enter into the Virtual Academy’s Young Voices Exhibition. In the Virtual Academy we have a Class Teacher Mentor (mine is Ms. McCalden) who we check in with fortnightly. We share our Virtual Academy work, receive feedback on it and ask questions to our Mentors. Overall, I have loved doing Virtual Academy and can’t wait to see what I come up with for my project.
The Virtual Academy (or VA as we sometimes call it) is a group of students throughout the diocese, we all have mentors (mine is Miss Cook (6B teacher) who we share work with every odd week, and VCs (Video Conferences) with our VA teachers every even week. The unit we are doing this year is Agency. Agency is the ability to speak up about issues that make you passionate. We are aiming to do the Virtual Academy’s Young Voices Presentation, which will be shared nationally. We chat both physically and on Teams, as we do this in our class or in the music room.
I can’t wait to see what happens next in our Virtual Academy journey!
The Virtual Academy (or VA for short) is a large group of students across the diocese. We each have a mentor who we can share our work with and ask for help and guidance. We meet up with them each fortnight to discuss the following questions:
-What are you learning? Why?
-How are you doing?
-How do you know?
-How can you improve?
-Where can you go for help?
This unit is called Agency. We will participate in the young voices exhibition which will be shared nationally.
In the Virtual Academy this semester, we are working our way through the Agency unit. In this unit we are going to create a piece of work for the Young Voice's exhibition. In the Virtual Academy we have mentors who we see every fortnight. What we do with our mentors is to show the work we recently have done and that we are proud of. They then give us feedback on our work and we can ask them questions about our tasks. So far, I really am enjoying VA and cannot wait to see what I produce.
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