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 1 Term 4 2019 Newsletter

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Week 1 Term 4 2019 Newsletter

Dear Parents, Carers and the St Joseph’s Community,

Knock, knock… (this isn’t a joke)… knock, knock…

On Sunday, Archbishop Christopher Prowse celebrated the sacrament of Confirmation with our St Joseph’s community. His message to us was that our faith is something that is proposed, not imposed. In this way, and on Sunday he demonstrated this by knocking on the pew with his knuckles, God continues to knock on our lives waiting patiently for when we answer. We congratulate our Year 6 students who on Sunday answered that ‘knocking’ by God in their lives.

This week, in some little way, I encourage us all to be aware of the opportunity to hear the ‘knocking’ in our lives.

Welcome back to all our students and families for Term 4. I trust that everyone enjoyed some time away from the routines of school and had time together with family and friends. We have a busy term ahead and I look forward to welcoming our community to a number of important events as we journey to the end of the school year.  

Annual Improvement Plan and Strategic Plan 2019 – 2021

At the start of 2019, we focused on a new Strategic Plan with three key priorities:


As a school community, we have worked throughout the year to maintain a focus on these priorities which continue to drive our planning for 2020 and beyond. As a staff, our 2019 efforts have been centred on the following three annual improvement goals:

  • A knowledge, understanding and use of the Australian Curriculum Achievement standards is evident in planning, teaching, learning and assessment.
  • Implement and effectively use the Archdiocesan Diagnostic Assessment Program and school-based assessment tools to collect and utilise data to inform teaching and learning and to show growth.
  • Implement a student-centred inquiry approach to teaching and learning, specifically in Religious Education and Numeracy.

These three goals have been met to varying degrees through our continued efforts to meet the needs of all students. Most challenging, but at the same time rewarding for the students and teachers, has been the efforts to foster a student-centred inquiry approach to learning. We know that the students have responded well to posing questions in their learning and to developing a more conceptual understanding.

A focus throughout this term is to review what has been achieved, including analysing the responses to the Satisfaction Surveys conducted in Term 3, and to begin planning for 2020. Another aspect of this planning is through reviewing the 2019 NAPLAN data. St Joseph’s has continued to perform well in all areas against the national average. What has become evident through the new NAPLAN data available, is that when compared with Statistically Similar School Groups (SSSG), as a school we can perform better. This is particularly evident in extending those students who are performing well, but are not being challenged to go beyond.


Today it was announced that following an application process, Kerri Kerr has accepted a transfer to St Jude’s at Holder. Her new position will be as Classroom Support Teacher, a role she is very much looking forward to. On behalf of all at St Joseph’s I congratulate Kerri and wish her every success at her new school. We are also losing our wonderful Canteen Manager, Michelle Welch. After almost 3 years at St Joseph’s, Michelle has been offered additional days at the preschool at which she also works. We thank Michelle for her care and efforts in our canteen and wish her the best as she finishes on Friday Week 2. As in any school or organisation, staffing change is expected and in many ways important to maintain new ideas and vision. As we head into Term 4, staffing planning is underway and will be communicated with the community when these plans are finalised.

2020 Classes

One of the priorities in coming weeks is to place the students into their new classes for 2020. This is always a very carefully considered process that begins with the current teacher and what they know of each student and, first and foremost, their learning. At the same time, all social aspects of friendships and new opportunities are taken into account. All students in Foundation – Year 5 will be given the chance to consider 3 friends that they would like to be in a class with in 2020. The intention is to ensure that each student is paired with at least one of their friends they nominate.

If there is specific information that parents would like to advise me of to assist the composition of classes for 2020, then this must be done so in writing to me either via email or letter by no later than Friday 8 November. This does not include requests for particular teachers, nor does it include considerations other than the learning needs of your child. Each year is a new start for all students, and teachers, and therefore only information provided this year is taken into consideration when putting classes together for 2020.

New Classrooms

When you have visited the school this week, you will hopefully have seen our two new temporary classrooms that have been installed on the oval adjacent to the Hub. These classrooms have been added to take the pressure off our school over the next 12 months as the building works are undertaken. While the installation is complete, there is still work to be done to have the classrooms ready for classes to move in. We may utilise the space before the end of the year, but they are particularly in place for 2020.

Have a great end to the week.

Yours in Christ,

Cameron Tarrant


Religious Life of the School

Last Sunday, 13 October was a perfect spring morning for Archbishop Christopher Prowse to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation at St Joseph’s. Archbishop Christopher Prowse’s homily was an open invitation to all to come alive with the love and grace of Jesus Christ. Congratulations to these children for saying ‘Yes’ to receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit. May they be open to using these gifts to glorify Christ with their lives.

Lachlan B

Chris D

Lucy E

Savidu F

Chloe F

Ewan G

Liam G

Zachary G

Finn K

Dexuan K

Drina K

Serafina M

Thomas M

Zoe P

Oliver P

Zoe P

Kayla R

Victoria R

Ivan S

Max S

Miller W


Pope Francis has declared this month of October 2019 as an extraordinary Missionary Month. This month is to increase awareness that Mission is for the entire world. We are all being called to help communities grow in “missionary and evangelising zeal.” This is a wonderful reminder of our focus scripture for 2019: Go and make disciples. How will you go forth and make disciples this week?

Prayer and Worship      

Student Led Christian Prayer

Each Friday after first break Year 6 lead classes in prayer with a focus on the Gospel for the coming Sunday.

Liturgical Season: Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Liturgical Season Colour: Green

This week the focus is on the Gospel: Luke 16:19-31

Jesus told this story: “In a certain town, there was a judge who was often unjust and unfair. A woman in the town asked the judge to help her settle a quarrel with her neighbour. The judge was not interested in the woman’s problem and sent her away.


But the woman did not give up! She came back every day, day in and day out, until the judge could not stand being pestered any more. ‘I must give this woman what she wants,’ he said, ‘or she will never give me any peace.”

Then Jesus said, “If such a man can finally listen and do what is asked of him, how much more will my heavenly father do for you of you keep on asking?”

At home we invite you to read the upcoming Gospel as a family and discuss our focus questions for the week.

  1. Why did the woman keep on pestering the judge?
  2. Have you ever pestered anyone for something you really wanted? What happened?
  3. Do you have something you really want that you can persist in praying to God about?

Celebrating Liturgy and Sacraments

Week 1:   Friday 18 October: Grade 6 Class Mass

Week 2:   Wednesday 23 October: Catholic Mission Mass at the Cathedral

                Thursday 24 October: Grandparents and Special Friends Day

Week 3    Thursday 31 October: Move for Mission Fundraising Disco (lunchtime)

                Friday 1 November: Grade 1 and 2 Class Mass

                Sunday 3 November Family Mass led by Year 6 9am

Week 4    Friday 8 November: Grade 5 and Foundation Class Mass  

Week 5    Monday 11 November Remembrance Day led by Grade 5 10.30am

                Friday 15 November: Grade 4 Class Mass 9.15am

Week 6    Friday 22  November: Grade 3  Class Mass 9.15am

Week 7    Thursday  28 November Advent Prayer Celebration led by Grade 4 9.15am

Week 8    Thursday  5 December Advent Prayer Celebration led by Grade 3 9.15am

Week 9    Thursday 12 December Advent Prayer Celebration led by Grade 1 9.15am

                Friday 13th December Thanksgiving Mass at 9.15am

Week 10  Thursday 19 December Advent Prayer Celebration led by Foundation 9.15am

Social Action & Justice


Year 6 are ready to go with their Lip balm pop-up shop. The pop-up shop will commence this coming Friday during first break.


This Friday, Simon Carroll from Global School Partners will come to St Joseph’s where we will present him with a cheque for $2500. Congratulations to our St Joseph’s community for raising this amazing amount of money. This money will be used to build a new toilet block. This week students have also been busy writing letters to the students at Riamabana Orphanage Academy. Simon will send these letters to the students in the coming weeks.


Catholic Mission

October is Catholic Mission Month. October is also the Month of the Rosary. At St Joseph's we will hold a "Day of Many Colours" event on Thursday 31st October where children will wear a colour representing the continent their family is from and come together as a whole to school to pray the Rosary.


The Social Justice Leaders are also working on a "Move for Mission" lunchtime Disco on Thursday 31st October (Break 1 - Junior Primary  Break 2 Upper Primary). Entry will be by gold coin donation. More information will be available early next Term.

Religious Identity and Culture

Ethos and Charism

Our strategic priority to deepen our St Joseph’s identity means to deepen our understanding of our Josephite Charism.  We can learn much about our Josephite Charism through quotes from Saint Mary Mackillop. As we begin Term 4, the quote for this week is:


Evangelisation and Faith Formation

Faith Formation

Last night St Joseph’s Parish began its annual Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) journey this October.

If you are curious about God or the Catholic Church, were baptised as a child but did not receive Eucharist or Confirmation, visit the parish one Sunday and speak to Fr Paul.

If you have questions about the RCIA process, please email Alwyn Dantis on or ring 0467 243 363.

Yours in Christ,

Melanie Stratford

Religious Education Coordinator 


Please support our Year 6 students with this awesome, sustainable initiative:


You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make. – Jane Goodall

Ryan McGee

Sustainability Coordinator 


Remembrance Day Service at St Joseph’s will be held at 10.30 on Monday November 11 in the courtyard. Thank you to the individuals who have offered to take on a role during the ceremony. Morning tea will be served in the staff room following the service. All welcome.

Staying Connected or New to Canberra?

Check the DCO events page for more information on these ADF only events. Oct 31 – Walk and Talk Canberra and Coffee Connections Nov 5 Gungahlin Lakes and Nov 7 Googong.;events&rciv=evn&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjy2JOf95zlAhVm7XMBHe48DiwQ5bwDMAF6BAgPEAE#fpstate=tldetail&htidocid=K9LmJA3_xFTMlcEnJpA8-A%3D%3D&htivrt=events

Defence Kids Club this week…..

It was great to catch up with the children again after their holidays. We had fun with craft, lego, UNO and the Hot Wheels tracks during the first break Tuesday. The second break we had a great turn out for Ninja Warriors. Well done to everyone who took on the challenge

Sally Adams

Defence Support Mentor 


Michelle Welch

Canteen Manager 

Congratulations to this week's award recipients. 

Foundation Red

Sophia M

Chloe R

3 Silver

Imogen A

Hamish E

Foundation White

Gianluca P

Tom S

4 Blue

Tihana B

Pawel W

1 Purple

Scarlett S

Taj T

4 Orange

Emilia R

Ebenezer A

1 Teal

Aaron P

Liesel P

5 Gold

Bridgette D

Maxwell G

2 Magenta

Scarlett P

Tom H

Adah A

5 Green

Thomas O'K

Angelo P

2 Yellow

Louis P

Amaani S

6 Black

Dexuan K

Oliver S

3 Lime

Alyssa S

Alex W

Dominic S


Happy birthday to these students celebrating their birthdays this week:

Knox P
Sophie M
Lara S
Serafina M
Milana R
Fergus McR
Aidan McG