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 5 Term 1 2020 Newsletter

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Week 5 Term 1 2020 Newsletter

Good and gracious God, you see our every challenge, you know our every need.

Despite our mistakes, we long to follow you with all our hearts and to return to your embrace.

Be with us this day, strengthen our resolve, and guide our coming and our going.

We ask this in the name of Jesus, who shows us the way.


Dear parents, carers and the St Joseph’s community,

Over the past week, you may have heard me using the statement, 'It's Not Ok' when speaking with the students about what is acceptable behaviour across our school. 

We have a fantastic school and, for the most part, all students work hard to ensure that it is a safe and happy place to be. However, as in all schools, at times we need to remind them about playing fairly, being kind to others and using strategies to manage emotions.

This is where I have been introducing the idea that it's not ok to treat others in a way that upsets, hurts or excludes. I am also encouraging students to know that it's not ok to be made to feel upset, to be hurt or to be left out. 

We want to foster an atmosphere where everyone enjoys coming to school and is able to be their best self. You can also support this focus by speaking with your child about what they are doing to ensure St Joseph's is a great school. 

Catholic Care

At the moment, Catholic Care has not been able to provide staffing for a school and family counsellor for St Joseph’s. I am in contact with Catholic Care and am hopeful of having someone appointed to the school in the near future. Pleasingly, we have been allocated more contact hours with a school counsellor, which will support students and families as the year progresses. If there is a more urgent need, please speak with your child’s teacher or contact me directly.

Music Classes

Unfortunately our Music teacher, Cathy Berry has been unwell since the start of the new year and remains on leave. Cathy will be taking the rest of Term 1 off and as such we will be seeking to cover her classes to provide release for our classroom teachers. Our Music program will, therefore, be taught Terms 2 – 4. We keep Cathy in our thoughts and prayers and wish her a speedy recovery.


Our new Canteen Manager, Tihana Ravanparsa, started this week, developing a new menu and preparing for a reopening next Tuesday 10 March. Please see the current lunch menu for the coming weeks in the Canteen section of this newsletter. As stock levels increase and popular items become known, a new menu will be made available. Most important now is to seek more volunteers. If you are able to spare a few hours occasionally, please email .


Due to the current wet weather, it is anticipated that next week will see the official opening of the new sandpits. As you can see they are wonderfully placed to become a loved feature of our playground. There is also some new equipment that has been purchased to support creative play in the sandpits, but we are looking forward to seeing what the students come up with in the weeks ahead. Thank you again to the School Board for supporting the development of the playground Master Plan and the installation of the sandpits as stage 1.

Building Update

The site has been cleared, the pre-construction plumbing completed and this week the footings are being prepared for pouring early next week. It will all take shape very quickly!

Parent-Teacher Interviews

Thank you to the many parents who have made a time to meet with teachers over recent weeks to provide, albeit brief, information about your children to support their learning and development at school. It is always nice to speak to parents after meeting with the teachers, to hear that they feel confident in what is being done within the school and the welcome they receive. Thank you to the teachers for making the commitment to providing this positive school environment. If you have not had a chance to meet with your child’s teacher as yet, please email them to arrange a time.

Year 6 Camp

Last Thursday and Friday I had the pleasure of being part of the Year 6 Leadership Camp, held at Greenhills Centre near the Cotter. From the excited welcomes at school on Thursday morning to the tired return to parents’ arms on Friday afternoon, our Year 6 students made the most of their time away with old and new friends. The activities all focused on building capacity and identifying strengths but also tuning into those aspects that the students need support with. It was an incredibly positive experience for me personally and I hope for all the students. Thank you to Melanie, Annette and Linley for committing their time to take our leaders on camp.

COVID-19 (formally known as Novel Coronavirus)

In response to the ongoing global concerns relating to COVID-19, the following advice remains in place and forms the current requirements:

  • Any student or staff member who has been in, or transited through, mainland China or has been in Iran is excluded from work, school or child care services for 14 days from the date they left mainland China or Iran.
  • These students or staff members are also required to self-isolate from the community for a period of 14 days, as the COVID-19 incubation period can be as long as two weeks.
  • Those travelling from other countries which may have confirmed cases of COVID-19 are able to remain at school and attend work but should monitor for symptoms.
  • Good hygiene standards are an important way to reduce the risk of acquiring and spreading respiratory infections. All students are encouraged to wash their hands and to be careful if they have a cough.

While this advice remains in place, there is no specific concern at present. Speaking openly, and from an informed position with your children will allow them to process what they are hearing in the media. Please contact me if you have any questions.

Have a great end to the week.

Yours with Christ,

Cameron Tarrant


Religious Life of St Joseph’s

As we journey through Lent we are called to have a change of heart and spend more time in prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. When we think of almsgiving we often think of giving physically with donations of money or food to those less fortunate than us. As a St Joseph’s community, we are currently raising money for Project


Project Compassion

Around 2.8 million children in the Philippines do not go to school. We begin Project Compassion learning about the story of Shirley. Shirley was struggling to

support her family and keep her children in school. She faced regular discrimination and disadvantage, limiting her family’s access to food, education, employment and healthcare.

With Caritas Australia’s support, Shirley trained to become an indigenous health worker. She has learnt to supplement her income and is able to feed her family. The program has also empowered Shirley to send her children to school.


Did you know that if each child in our school were to donate just $1 we could help

families in Malawi access food and earn an income?
At St Joseph’s we are also working on almsgiving through acts of kindness. At school, each day classes will focus on one simple act. Today your child will also bring home a 40 Acts Family Chart to support you in almsgiving as a family so you can continue these acts of kindness as a family. You can access a digital copy at:

Ethos and Charism

Our strategic priority to deepen our St Joseph’s identity means to deepen our understanding of our Josephite Charism.  As a staff, we have been collaborating to understand what following the example of Saint Mary Mackillop looks like at St Joseph’s O’Connor. Together we have developed 4 core values of what it means to ‘Be a Joey.” 


Prayer and Worship

Student Led Christian Prayer

Each Friday after the first break Year 6 lead classes in prayer.

Liturgical Season: Second Sunday of Lent, Year A

Liturgical Season Colour: Purple

This week the focus is on the Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9


One day Jesus asked Peter, James and John to come and pray

with him. He led them to the top of a steep mountain, where it

was peaceful and quiet, and they could be alone.

Jesus began to pray to his heavenly father when suddenly he

appeared to change! His face and clothes shone with a brilliant

light, as dazzling as the rays of the sun. Then the disciples saw

Moses and Elijah on either side of Jesus, talking to him.

Peter jumped up with excitement and said, “Lord, this is

wonderful! I could make three shelters, one for each of you!” At

that moment a cloud streaming with light appeared above them,

and a voice said, “This is my son, whom I love very much. Listen

to what he says.” The disciples were so terrified that they threw

themselves to the ground and hid their faces.

Then Jesus said gently, “Get up my friends, do not be afraid.”

When they looked up, Jesus was standing alone. As they came

down the mountain together, Jesus told them firmly, “You must

not tell anyone about what you have seen today, until the son of

God has risen from the dead.”

At home, we invite you to sing our focus song for 2020, “Be God’s” by Danielle Rose and discuss how we can Be God’s Love. You can view a version with the lyrics at:

Celebrating Liturgy and Sacraments

Term 1 Prayer Celebrations and Class Masses

Week 5

Friday 9.15am Class Mass: Year 3, 1 Purple and 5 Blue


Week 6

Friday 9.15am Class Mass: Year 3, Foundation Red and 4 Green


Week 7

Thursday 9.15am St Joseph’s Feast Day: Whole School

Friday 9.15am Class Mass: Year 3, Foundation White and 4 Gold


Week 8

Friday 9.15am Class Mass: Year 3 and ELC Frogs   


Week 9

Friday 9.15am Class Mass: Year 3 and ELC Geckos


Week 10

Monday 9.15am Palm Sunday led by 1 Purple

Wednesday 9.15am Holy Thursday led by 3 Black

Thursday 9.15am Good Friday led by 5 Orange


Sacrament Dates 2020

As we are a growing community we are asking families to help us be as prepared as possible by enrolling now. Please use the following link to enrol in Sacraments for 2020.



Wednesday 11 March: 5.30-6.30pm Sacrament of Reconciliation Formation Session 1

Wednesday 18 March: 5.30-6.30pm Sacrament of Reconciliation Formation Session 2

Wednesday 1 April: Reconciliation Retreat Day

Wednesday 1 April: 6.00pm-7.00pm: Sacrament of Reconciliation


First Holy Communion

Wednesday 13 May: 5.30-6.30pm Sacrament of First Holy Communion Formation Session 1

Wednesday 27 May: 5.30-6.30pm Sacrament of First Holy Communion Formation Session 2

Friday 12 June: First Holy Communion Retreat Day

Sunday 14 June 9.00am: Sacrament of First Holy Communion



Wednesday 14 October: 5.30-6.30pm Sacrament of Confirmation Formation Session 1

Wednesday 21 October: 5.30-6.30pm Sacrament of Confirmation Formation Session 2

Friday 30 October: Confirmation Retreat Day

Sunday 1 November 9.00am: Sacrament of Confirmation

Yours in Christ,

Melanie Stratford

Religious Education Coordinator

Sustainability in Action

In honour of Clean Up Australia Day, Year 3 hosted a celebration that included a clean up contest and a sustainability slogan competition. While much rubbish was collected, 4 Green was the most successful at putting the correct rubbish into the collection bags and avoided collecting items that belonged in the compost or recycling bin. As a reward, Mrs Coghlan is delivering a cake to be enjoyed by both competition winners. Stay tuned for the winning slogan!

The Easter Egg Foil Challenge is back! Please save and flatten any Easter foil you may collect in the coming weeks. Foil can be dropped into the collection box in the Sustainability Corridor near 1 Teal.

“I only feel angry when I see waste, when I see people throwing away things we could use.” Mother Theresa.

Ryan McGee

Sustainability Coordinator

Each week I visit the Defence Kids in their classrooms. The DSM program in Term 1 focuses on the integration of new students, supporting them, and their teachers and helping to promote a healthy school environment. Please feel free to send me an email if there are queries on how I can assist your children. It can be very helpful to know if a Defence parent is away for an extended period. Please send relevant information to me or their classroom teacher.


The school ANZAC Day service will take place on April 29 at 9.15am. This year our guest speaker will be Ben Farinazzo, a former Australian Army officer and two-time gold medal winner at the 2018 Invictus Games. He is an ambassador for Soldier On and a strong advocate for mental health and the healing power of sport. We warmly welcome all our families to this school event and please stay for morning tea if time allows.

Sally Adams

Defence Support Mentor 

UNIFORM SHOP - Opening Hours 2020

Tuesday 8:45am to 9:15am

Friday 8:30am to 9:00am

Remember - you can order uniforms via Qkr! and have uniforms delivered to your child's class!

Congratulations to this week's award recipients. 

Foundation Red

Addison F

Emery D

Foundation White

Charlie G

Christian D

1 Purple

William C

Tresa S

1 Teal

Phoebe G

Ajmer S

2 Magenta

Yaanih N

Ishana M

2 Yellow

Isabella H

Ted V-F

3 Black

Hayden S

Ashley F

3 Navy

Georgina G

Faith Y

4 Gold

Nathan N

Violet W

4 Green

Hudson W

Bridget M

5 Blue

Sophie M

Sophie P

5 Orange

Alli P

Milli C

6 Lime

Max G

Cindy L

6 Silver

Isabelle T

Alec F

Happy birthday to these students celebrating their birthdays this week:

Zoe G
Emilia R
Azrielle T
Eloise McD
Callum A
Daniel G