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 6 Term 1 2020 Newsletter

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Week 6 Term 1 2020 Newsletter

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

Social and Emotional Learning

This fortnight my focus in the classrooms is on self-regulation. Self-regulation is a key life skill and essential to navigating the stressors in life. Mastering self-regulation empowers us to respond to and not react to other people, stress and life’s bigger challenges. Providing children with self-regulatory processes empowers them to become more self-aware, emotionally literate and able to build a toolbox of strategies, including the ability to ask for help. There are 5 steps in the self-regulation process:

  • Identify the emotion, feeling and body state that we don’t like
  • Choose how you would like to feel
  • Identify what you need to feel better
  • Initiate action
  • Evaluate if this worked

Kids Committee

Today I met with our new Kids Committee for 2020. Our representatives for this semester are Claire A, Madeline O, Jack, Gianluca P, Mary C, Maddison D, Scarlett P, Lily P, Reese M, Adam S, Josh O, Amy D, Chloe C and Tom O. The group came up with a set of expectations for playing safely and fairly in our amazing brand-new sandpits.


In contrast to SARS and Swine, where most people were quite unwell if infected, the impact of Coronavirus on children and healthy adults can be quite mild yet highly infectious. Upon directive given by Catholic Education on advice from the Health Department, all parents are strongly encouraged to keep children who are unwell at home, until coughs, sneezes and any fevers subside. To assist with maintaining St Joseph’s as a safe environment to come to school and to work, appropriate safe hygiene practices will be encouraged and demonstrated. Proper handwashing along with covering coughs and sneezes are key to limiting the spread of infection and bacteria. These techniques are being modelled explicitly to students and displayed around the school. You can remain informed via updates issued by the Australian Government Department of Health - COVID-19 Updates.

Supporting Our Friends

As a way to help in some small way, we have reached out to our friends at St Joseph’s in Bombala, to offer assistance to support the students as they return to some normality after a very difficult summer. As you can see in the pictures, it has been a very confronting experience for them in Bombala. On 24 March, all the students of St Joseph’s Bombala are heading to Jindabyne Sport and Rec for a ‘Day Out’, just to give them an opportunity to have some fun. We would like to assist with the costs for this day, by having our own ‘Day In’ here at St Joseph’s on Friday 27 March. More information will be sent out soon, but it will be a uniform-free day and we will do some different fun activities in the middle session. We will also ask for donations that will go directly to St Joseph’s Bombala, to support their community.

Shave for a Cure

Josie S and Tom F from Year 5 have been busy raising money to donate to the Leukemia Foundation. To date, they have collectively raised just over $1000. On Friday, they will have their heads shaved at school as part of the World’s Greatest Shave. Students are invited to watch the shave at Second Break and bring in a gold coin to buy an icy pole. All proceeds will go straight towards Tom and Josie’s campaign to make a stand against blood cancer. Don’t ‘shave’ your money for later, get on board and help support these inspiring students!

Readers from the P&F

Thank you to the P&F and all those in our community who helped with the Enlighten Cake Stall earlier in the month by cooking cakes, donating lollies or helping on the night. It raised almost $600, which has already gone directly to assist with the purchase of new decodable readers for Foundation and Year 1. Thank you everyone!

After School Hours Care (OSHC) Survey

We are currently in the process of following guidelines from Catholic Education to procure/renew our agreement with an external After School Hours Care provider. Cameron and I, along with Pip, Nichole and Kieran from the School Board have formed an OSHC Review committee and are working to get this process underway. As part of the tender process, we would like to know what you believe are the important elements required in a successful and engaging After School Hours Care program. By taking 5 minutes to complete the below survey, you can ensure that your ideas become part of the tender process.

OSHC Survey

I hope you have an enjoyable end to the week.


Yours in Christ,

Amy Doszpot

Assistant Principal

Religious Life of St Joseph's

St Joseph’s Parish is blessed to host the relics of Saint Therese of Lisieux and her


parents on the 27th of March at St Joseph’s O’Connor church. Saint Therese of Lisieux had two great desires in life: to be set on fire with the love of God and to make God deeply loved. She wanted to spread this message to the ends of the earth.

Shortly after her death, at the age of 24, she was given this grace as her diary was published and she showed that anyone could come to God by simply trusting Him and relying on Him at all times. Many miracles were quickly attributed to her and she is known as the little flower because roses often appear when one finishes a novena to her and she answers the prayers of those seeking her intercession. This is not surprising, because she said she would spend her heaven doing good on earth. She will be visiting our parish with her parents, St Louis and St Zelie.

On Friday 27 March, as a school, we will visit the relics in the Church between 1:30pm - 2:45 pm. This is an opportunity to seek the intercession of Saint Therese and her parents with prayers, especially for family. We are invited to bring along roses and our intentions as we welcome the little flower and her parents. All are invited to join us in the welcome and devotions.

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 Compassion.


Project Compassion

Twenty-seven-year-old, Phany lives in a village in western Cambodia. Struggling to earn a living as a farmer, she was forced to leave her daughter behind in the village, to take up construction work in the city.  In 2016, Phany joined the Upholding Community Dignity Together program, run by Caritas Australia, in partnership with the Environment Protection and Development Organisation (EPDO). Phany learned new farming techniques, such as a drip irrigation system, which enabled her to get a better yield from her vegetable crops and to conserve water for drier periods.


Did you know that if each child in our school were to donate just $2 we could help set up a rice bank to feed 40 families in Cambodia?

At St Joseph’s we are working on almsgiving through acts of kindness. At school, each day classes will focus on one simple act.

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: Third Sunday of Lent, Year A

Liturgical Season Colour: Purple


This week the focus is on the Gospel: John 4:6-11, 13-19, 28-29,39-42

Jesus had been walking all morning and was tired and thirsty. He stopped to rest beside a well when a Samaritan woman came to fill her water jug at the well.


Jesus asked her, “Will you give me a drink?” The woman was very surprised because the Jews and Samaritans hated each other and rarely spoke. “Surely, sir, you are a Jew. Why should I share my water with you?” Jesus said, “If you knew me, it would be asking me for a drink, for I would give you the water of life.”

The woman was puzzled, “The well is deep and you have no bucket, so how could you reach this ‘living water’?”

Jesus said, “When you drink the water from this well, your thirst always returns. Anyone who drinks the water that I can give will never be thirsty again. This water will become a spring inside them and fill them with eternal life.”

The woman said to him, “Sir, share this water with me.” Then Jesus told the woman many things about herself that no other person knew, and she believed that he truly was the son of God.

When she told the people of the town what had happened by the well, they too, came to believe that this man was the son of God.

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 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

Sister Genny was back at it, teaching Year 2 about the importance and meaning of Fairtrade products. Year 2 is currently exploring resources that come from the Rainforest. What better resource to consider than chocolate?


Take Aways:

“You have to look for the Fairtrade logo on the wrappers. I found one on my KitKat!” said Aaron P.

“The children who make the chocolate never even get to taste it themselves,” said Maddison D.

“I didn’t know chocolate came from cacao beans,” said Sophia R.

“The children are slaves and they have to use big knives to cut off the beans,” said Kathy A.

Be sure to check your Easter chocolates for the Fairtrade symbol!

Please send in your Easter wrappers, flattened, as we are attempting to be the school that collects the most in the ACT. The collection box in the Sustainability Corridor outside 1 Teal.

“We must be the voice of those who have none,” Mother Theresa.

Ryan McGee

Sustainability Coordinator

For those families new to Canberra, I trust you enjoyed your first Canberra Day long weekend. Please remember to get in touch if you have any questions and be sure to let us know if you or your partner are away for an extended period so we can keep an extra eye on your child.

ANZAC Day will be commemorated at St Joseph’s Wednesday 29 April at 9.15. If you would like to be involved we would love to hear from you. A note will go home shortly with more information. Our guest speaker will be Ben Farinazzo, two time gold medal winner at the 2018 Invictus Games.

Community News

Defence Families Australia have webinars available for partners of Defence members. These are appropriate for the first 5 years of being a Defence partner and may not be applicable to all. Please see the flyer if you need more information.


Sally Adams

Defence Support Mentor 

A reminder that our Canteen has re-opened and is available for lunch orders and over the counter sales every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

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

Xander W

Indie M

Foundation White

Aria F

Adam L

1 Purple

Conor McG

Mirabel P

Teilo K-J

1 Teal

Sofia W

Owen H

2 Magenta

Henry A

Aidan M

2 Yellow

Dylan McG

Evie P

3 Black

Lily P

Tom H

3 Navy

Jimmy P

Imogen W

4 Gold

Erika A

Nate R

4 Green

Ben L

Sienna S

5 Blue

Frankie Q

Thomas F

5 Orange

Addison F

Frieda C

6 Lime

Nellie R

Chime D

6 Silver

Liam O

Rea N


Josh O'K

Happy birthday to these students celebrating their birthdays this week:

Marial W
Tihana B
Angela L
Juliana L