St Joseph’s Primary School - O'Connor
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Boronia Drive
O'Connor ACT 2602

Phone: 02 6248 9818
Fax: 02 6247 1792

Week 7 Term 4 2021 Newsletter

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Week 7 Term 4 2021 Newsletter

Raising the ‘care factor’

Today I spoke to the students about raising the care factor in our school. It has been challenging throughout remote learning, and upon our return, to promote and strengthen our expectations for taking responsibility and pride in our school, as well as ensuring we finish the year positively. Not being able to come together as a school to share our successes and efforts, as well as reinforce our expectations, means we are a little ‘off’ at the moment.

Therefore, can I also please ask for your assistance. Raising the care factor over the final four weeks of Term 4 means that all students take responsibility for their own belongings. As part of this, all jumpers, hats and lunch boxes need to have names on them – please check. The lost property bins were over-flowing earlier this week. Likewise, taking care of our beautiful classroom spaces means that we have students who keep their classrooms tidy, put iPads and Chromebooks away at the end of the day, and put rubbish in the bins provided. Lastly, something at home – there have been quite a few decodable readers that were sent home earlier in the year, that have not returned. These new resources are only able to be purchased in sets, meaning individual books are unable to be replaced. Please have a look at home for any readers or library books that may need to be returned.

It is clear from our prayer, and the points raised here, that I feel we can improve what is happening in our school. If we can all remind the children to raise the care factor, then we can continue to have a wonderful school that we can be proud of and finish the year well.



As we start to turn our attention to 2022, it was wonderful to be able to welcome our new Foundation students, and their parents, into the school last Wednesday evening for the Foundation Orientation evening. We are excited to be planning for a new year, hopefully with less drama that in 2021!

We currently have enrolment places across the school and in the Early Learning Centre. Thank you for the wonderful support you all obviously give to the school, as almost all families that join our school mention hearing great things about St Joseph’s. Please, if you know anyone looking to enrol in 2022, encourage them to make contact with the school or ELC as soon as possible.



Big Night In

What a fun night last Friday was. Thank you to the 36 families who joined the Big Night In for trivia questions about St Joseph’s, who the Yellow Wiggle is, and even about celebrity baby names – would you believe that Bear Blaze Rock n Roll is actually a child’s name! There were quick scavenger hunts for wooden spoons, and I imagine, some very startled family pets as they were quickly whisked in front of computer screens. I hope that everyone enjoyed the night.

An enormous thank you to the P&F, and to Nicole Mahar in particular. It was a great success, bringing our community together ‘virtually’, but also raising over $2000. Well done everyone involved.

COVID Protocols

While there has been further easing of restrictions in the ACT, these do not directly relate to the school setting at this time. Please be aware that all adult visitors to the school must check in using the Check In CBR app, wear a mask and are not to enter the school unless there is a valid reason. These are all measures to continue keeping our school community safe.

Wizard of Oz

We are excitedly preparing for the performances of the Wizard of Oz, in Week 10. Further details will be sent out before the end of this week regarding the purchasing of tickets and the necessary COVID safe planning that will need to be in place. Please be aware that families will be limited in the number of tickets they will be able to purchase, in an effort to allow as many families as possible to attend.

Parent / Teacher Interviews

Today an alert was sent to all parents via Compass with details for the Semester 2 Parents / Teacher Interviews. As communicated earlier in the term, there will be no written comments on the Semester 2 reports, so there is great value in taking the opportunity to meet virtually with the classroom teachers to discuss how your child’s progress in 2021.

Helping children to identify and express their feelings – From Kerry Marshall, School and Family Counsellor

It can be stressful adjusting to being back at school after lockdown. Sometimes our children have big feelings and it is difficult to know how to respond as parents. Big feelings are often expressed as behaviour that can be best described as challenging!

As a parent you have an important role to play in developing your child’s emotional skills and helping them to learn healthy ways to express their feelings. We know that children who learn to cope with and express their feelings are more likely to have good mental health and wellbeing, can be more resilient and able to cope with change and setbacks, display less behavioural problems and are more confident, with a positive sense of self. So the earlier we can build a child’s ability to identify their feelings and implement healthy coping strategies the better!

Here are some great tips from Kids Helpline that can help you and your child:

  • Tune into cues- Sometimes feelings can be hard to identify. Tune into your child’s feelings by looking at their body language, listening to what they’re saying and observing their behaviour. Figuring out what they feel and why means you can help them identify, express and manage those feelings better.
  • Behind every behaviour is a feeling - Try to understand the meaning and feeling behind your child’s behaviour. You can help your child find other ways to express that feeling once you know what is driving the behaviour.
  • Name the feeling - Help your child name their feelings by giving them a label. Naming feelings is the first step in helping kids learn to identify them. It allows your child to develop an emotional vocabulary so they can talk about their feelings.
  • Identify feelings in others– Provide lots of opportunities to identify feelings in others. You might ask your child to reflect on what someone else may be feeling. Cartoons or picture books are a great way discuss feelings and helps kids learn how to recognise other people’s feelings through facial expressions.
  • Be a role model - Kids learn about feelings and how to express them appropriately by watching others. Show your child how you’re feeling about different situations and how you deal with those feelings.
  • Encourage with praise - Praise your child when they talk about their feelings or express them in an appropriate way. Not only does it show that feelings are normal and it’s ok to talk about them, it reinforces the behaviour so they are likely to repeat it.
  • Listen to your child’s feelings - Stay present and resist the urge to make your child’s bad feelings go away. Support your child to identify and express their feelings so they are heard. When feelings are minimised or dismissed, they will often be expressed in unhealthy ways.

Finally though, try to be patient with yourselves and your child. If it all feels a bit overwhelming right now, take it day by day, knowing it takes time to readjust when circumstances change. If you have concerns about your child’s ability to express their emotions or you need support to develop healthy coping strategies, contact me at or visit the Kids Helpline website for additional resources

2022 Classes   

A reminder to please discuss with your child the Sociogram that was sent home last week. This green form is an opportunity for your child to select three friends whom they would like to be in a class with in 2022. From this they are assured of being in class with at least one of their nominated friends. Please return this completed form by Friday 26 November.

School Board Nominations – CLOSING MONDAY 22 NOVEMBER

The School Board plays a vital role in the functioning of the school and is an extremely worthwhile avenue for parents to assist with the success of the school. The Board’s work is dedicated to enhancing all that happens for your children at our school and we endeavour to work towards our vision of St Joseph’s being an excellent school within a Christ-centred community. 


The School Board is comprised of elected members, voted in if necessary, who take on a two-year position on the Board. Members can only serve three consecutive terms. Please consider if you have particular skills and capabilities that may build on the excellent work of the current and past Boards.

If you are interested in finding out more, please contact me or refer to the linked information and nomination form below. Nominations close Monday 22 November, in time for consideration at the next Board meeting on Wednesday 24 November.

St Joseph's School Board Nomination Form

Have a great end to the week.

Yours in Christ,

Cameron Tarrant

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St Joseph’s Sacramental Program


The Sacrament of Confirmation:

Date:                        Saturday 4 December

Location:                  St Joseph’s Catholic Church

Attendees:                Candidate, two family                                          members and one sponsor

Attire:                       Smart casual (It is                                               not mandated that                                              students need to wear white)

Time:              2:00pm and 3:00pm (Please note the additional Mass time)

Enrolments are not closed for this Sacrament. Workbooks will be sent home soon as they arrive to all of the candidates who have registered for the Sacrament of Confirmation.  Please note that we cannot take any requests for a specific mass time.  You will be allocated a mass time.  Notifications of this should be sent home by the end of the week.      

Year 6 Graduation Mass

Date of Mass:                          Thursday 9 December

Time:                                       12:00pm

Unfortunately, due to capacity restrictions in the church, the numbers are strictly restricted to the Year 6 students and two family members. There will be allocated seating with the students' names. If restrictions ease over the coming weeks, families will be notified with an update.

Advent Prayer Celebrations

Advent is the period of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus at


Christmas. Advent is celebrated over 4 weeks, each week holding a significant focus. Each of these focuses represent the virtues that Jesus brought us; hope, love, joy and peace.

This year, our Advent Prayer Celebrations will take place outside under the trees. These prayers will be an opportunity for us to acknowledge one of the most important times in our Catholic lives.

Advent Prayer Details:

Week 8 - Friday 26 November                       Hope - lead by 5 Blue

Week 9 - Friday 3 December                         Love - lead by 4 Gold

Week 10 - Friday 10 December                     Joy - lead by 5 Orange

Week 11 - Thursday 16 December                Peace - lead by 4 Green

Parents are invited to attend the prayer celebration their child is involved in. Please be mindful that COVID protocols will be in place. Even outside, social distancing is still required.



For further information or any questions regarding Religious Education and events, please feel free to contact me via email:


In Year 4 this term, our students have been designing a theme park. The students have had to create their theme park with specific focuses that have included:

  • Showing evidence of sustainable practice and promoting sustainable initiatives;
  • Catering for a wide range of people, by showing inclusivity for people with disabilities, non-English speaking people, people with specific dietary needs and also people of all ages, from children to elderly adults;
  • Designing a marketing campaign that will advertise and promote their theme park; and,
  • Presenting a Shark Tank Pitch that outlines the key features of their theme park.

During remote learning, the students began planning their theme parks, completing their tasks against specific criteria and covering the subject areas of English, Maths, Science, Sustainability and Art. They designed a slogan, newsletter, brochure, logo, billboard ad, mascots, a theme park entrance, a theme park map and entertainment schedule. They also designed rides and carnival games, highlighting and labelling the different types of forces on each ride. Food venues were also designed, and accompanied by menus and promotional offers.

In Week 6, each student presented their theme park pitch to the ‘sharks’. The presentations were fabulous. The students showed a deep understanding of what makes a theme park appealing, and they were able to clearly articulate their ideas and be persuasive in their Shark Tank Pitch. It was really hard to decide on the number 1 theme park, so we have narrowed it down to 7 key categories. The winners in each category were decided by the four sharks:

The Sustainability Shark - Mrs McGee

The Mathematical Shark - Miss Cawdron

The Advertising & Marketing Shark - Ms Paragalli

The Science Shark - Mrs Vuli

Year 1 was also a fantastic and engaged audience.

Click here to see some of the fabulous project pitches from Year 4.

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  • A uniform shop coordinator is needed to help with promoting the shop, coordinating volunteers, and managing stock levels and sales processes.

  • If you can spare a few hours a fortnight, enjoy working with others, and maybe even have some experience in retail we'd love to hear from you.
Please contact the school if you would like to find out more or to get in touch with Nichole Mahar, the curernt Uniform Shop Coordinator. 

Happy birthday to these students who celebrated their birthday this week.


Josephine S
Samuel S
Benjamin L
Max M
Madison A
Leah F C
Mary C
Ebenezer A

Congratulations to the Week 6 award recipients. 

Foundation Red

Dominic G

Max B

Foundation White

Cooper D

Stella M

1 Purple

Rishaan M

Indie M

1 Teal

Addison F

Sebastian P

2 Magenta

Sofia W

Sophia M

2 Yellow

Edmund G

Teilo K J

3 Black

Anna S

Clementine S

3 Navy

Emanuel S

Scarlett S

James M

4 Gold

Georgina G

Asher K

4 Green

Callum A

Emilia R

5 Blue

Daniel A

Addison W

5 Orange

Lottie W B

Dexta W

6 Lime

Josh G

Daniel McK

6 Silver

Rachel N

Kristian S

See the St Joseph's Entertainment Guide link here