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 2 2020 Newsletter

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Week 5 Term 2 2020 Newsletter

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

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of this Land, the Ngunnawal People and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.


National Reconciliation Week begins today, and over the coming days will provide an opportunity for the students and teachers to look into and reflect on ways that we can continue to progress reconciliation as a nation. This can be a difficult concept for children, as the idea of reconciling is based on knowing there has been a wrong. For us as teachers, we simply focus on looking forward, to develop compassion and awareness for needs in all areas of our community. We want out students to be active, empathetic members of society, taking ownership for a positive and inclusive future for all. And what a poignant theme for 2020 – In this together. Never before have these words had such meaning.

Parents, you don’t always need to entertain kids – boredom is good for them

Most Australian children are stuck at home due to the outbreak of COVID-19. They need to find ways to socialise, do their school work, exercise and entertain themselves. It’s not surprising parents may be hearing “I’m bored” a lot more than before. People hate being bored. So much so that in one study, one-quarter of participants said they would rather give themselves a painful shock than be in a room with no external stimulus (music, books, phones) for 15 minutes...

While we have returned to school and perhaps the “I’m bored” comments have subsided a little, I know without weekend sport again this Saturday, the three Tarrant children will no doubt come out with it again. The introduction above is from an article that provides some insight into the benefits of allowing our children a little boredom and gives some good advice for parents.

Semester 1 Reports

In response to the changed learning circumstances in Term 1 and Term 2, the Semester 1 2020 reporting processes for Catholic Education schools have been modified to provide parents with specific information about their child’s achievement and progress.

  • The report still appears the same, using the same format
  • The reports covers work completed in both Term 1 and Term 2
  • Student achievement will be reported as an A-E grade (Years 1 – 6) / three-point scale (Foundation) for Religious Education, English and Maths.
  • Other subjects may receive a grade if the teacher/s has sufficient evidence of learning from the work completed throughout the semester. In subjects where a grade is not possible, ‘Not assessed’ will be displayed. This means that, although the learning throughout the semester has been rigorous, it is not possible to make an overall judgement about the student’s achievement in relation to the reporting Outcomes or Achievement Standards against the Garde Descriptors.
  • A new section ‘Engagement with Learning’ has been developed to replace the ‘Personal and Social Capabilities’. The new statements are based on the Australian Curriculum: General Capabilities, and target four key areas of learning engagement: Thinking, Communication, Responsibility, Collaboration.
  • The inclusion of the ‘Engagement with Learning’ statements means that the General Comment section of the report is no longer required; the statements give detailed information on your child’s approach to learning.

These changes are very welcomed following the transition to remote learning and now back to face to face teaching and learning. Teachers currently are able to focus on supporting the students’ return to school and to prioritising their deep learning in key areas of the curriculum. The timeline for our Semester 1 reporting, therefore, remains the same as previous years:

  • Teachers will prepare student reports in the weeks leading up to Week 9
  • Parent / Teacher Interview booking system set up and made available from Week 8
  • Semester 1 Reports sent home to parents Friday Week 9
  • Parent / Teacher Interviews Week 10

School Counsellor

While it has been unfortunate that we have not been able to provide access to a school counsellor to this point this year, Catholic Care has engaged a new counsellor to work at St Joseph’s starting next Friday. This is a valuable and important service that is available to students and their parents, to assist with managing emotions, building social skills or simply discussing concerns. If you have already spoken to your child’s teacher about accessing the school counsellor, please complete a referral form that is available at the Front Office or by contacting the school, and complete and return it as soon as possible.

Enrolment Period

Enrolment applications for the 2021 school year close this Friday, 29 May

While we are currently unable to offer Open Days, we are always keen to speak with families interested in enrolling at St Joseph’s. Please see our website for more details -

Primary Website Banner 2020.PNG

Have a good end to week.

Yours in Christ,

Cameron Tarrant



Yours in Christ,

Cameron Tarrant


Religious Life of St Joseph’s

Pentecost and National Reconciliation Week

This coming Sunday is Pentecost Sunday and in the Gospel (John 20:19-23) Jesus appears to his disciples and gives them the gift of the Holy Spirit.


19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

The Gospel reminds us that the Church begins with the command to forgive. The gift of the Holy Spirit enables us to do both. This reading is also fitting as we begin National Reconciliation Week.


National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

The dates for NRW remain the same each year; 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively. National Reconciliation Week started as the Week of Prayer for Reconciliation in 1993 (the International Year of the World’s Indigenous Peoples) and was supported by Australia’s major faith communities. In 1996, the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation launched Australia’s first NRW. In 2000, Reconciliation Australia was established to continue to provide national leadership on reconciliation. Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

(Adapted from

As you gather together as a family, sit quietly for a few minutes, inviting everyone to reflect upon their need to forgive and to receive forgiveness. Talk together about how Jesus gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us in the work of forgiveness and to bring us peace.

You are invited to identify one or more ways in which your family is a witness of God’s love. Together discuss how you could work together to do a better job of being God’s love to others. Make a family plan for one of those ways and work together to make it happen.

If you would like to share your family’s plan to contribute to a special St Joseph’s project please email it to To protect the privacy of the authors, all contributions will not be publicly identified.

Melanie Stratford

Religious Education Coordinator

Sustainability in Action

Meet the Green Team! Due to mandatory remote learning, these tenacious tweens haven’t had a chance to build their presence at Joey’s just yet. But to hear them excited about their plans and hopes for our sustainable community demonstrates their passion and desire to make our world a better place. We look forward to seeing them in action!


“I want to raise money for a water tank that uses rain water for our garden, rather than wasting it,” - Liam

“I think we should make home-made sanitiser, and then we can re-use the containers,”- Isabelle

“We should expand the garden and bring in more plants,”- Sam

“I want to use my artistic talents to make posters or animations about the importance of not littering,” - Christelle.

“Our greatest natural resource is in the minds of our children,” - Walt Disney.

Ryan McGee

Sustainability Coordinator 

As well as the usual fun at Defence kids club, I caught up with all the year 6 Defence kids one on one this week. It was a great chance to check in on their feelings about returning to face to face learning, being school leaders and thoughts on High School. It is so exciting seeing them all back in the school grounds, ready to learn and grow.

A Message for all the families of St Joseph’s…. You are invited to a series of webinars from twelve of Positive Schools most loved presenters and hosts for FREE.

Join Tracey Spicer, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, Maggie Dent and others as they each present thoughts, ideas and suggestions to support you, your families and your students in 2020.

The Twelve Days of Positive Schools video series brings together some of Australia’s best-loved education and mental health experts. Each presenter is a valued and highly respected member of the Positive Schools community. Each specially recorded presentation offers support, guidance and inspiration to educators and their families as we move forward in 2020 and beyond.

All talks will be accessible to registered individuals until the end of June 2020.


Click on the following link (or cut and paste it into your browser)


Sally Adams

Defence School Mentor 

Happy birthday to these students celebrating their birthdays this week:

Vairaj B
Thomas F
Enoch A
Isabella H
Joseph E
Keone S


Thank You!

A big thank you to our wonderful families who have dropped off uniforms to go into the second-hand clothing pool. We have a large range of items available at a very cheap price! More donations are always welcome. 

Congratulations to this week's award recipients. 

Students will receive their awards in class on Friday.

Photos will be shared later in the day via SZapp. 

Foundation Red

Tilly McG

Charles P

Foundation White

Audrey B

Raksha N

1 Purple

Aneesh T

Tresa S

Beau W

1 Teal

Mae T

Ajmer S

Toby S

2 Magenta

Atticus B

Aaron P

2 Yellow

Alex M

Marvin R

3 Black

Emilia R

Eoin S

3 Navy

Louis P

Attharva T

4 Gold

Harry C

Alex W

Lekzeen G

4 Green

Reese McG

Daniel G

5 Blue

Jordan L

Layla F

5 Orange

Lachlan D

Rachel N

6 Lime

Chelsea P

Alarna N

6 Silver

Chloe C

Sophia D


Bridget M