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 4 2020 Newsletter

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Week 5 Term 4 2020 Newsletter

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


May the Ancient Dreaming

inform and inspire us.

May the resilience and generosity

of the First Peoples encourage us.

May the clarity and respect

of the Prophets motivate us.

May the endurance and colour

of the land sustain us.

May the yearning of all peoples

for unity reconcile us.


2020 Annual Improvement Plan and Strategic Plan 2019 – 2021

Throughout 2020, we have maintained our focus on the three key priorities from our 2019 – 2021 Strategic Plan.



As a school community, we have actioned these priorities through our Annual Improvement Plan goals:


  • All students, staff and parents able to name the unique aspects of being at a St Joseph’s School.


  • To develop a St Joseph’s pedagogical framework for conceptual inquiry that centres learning around the student.
  • To introduce open-ended and engaging; investigations, teaching and learning that promotes the application of mathematical thinking and skills.
  • To use data to inform teaching and learning, identify student achievement and to guide school-wide decisions.


  • To promote student wellbeing, safety and positive relationships so that students can reach their full potential.

While 2020 has presented many challenges, it has been rewarding to review these goals for the year and to identify the successes that have been achieved and to name areas for continued growth going forward. Through our weekly Joey Focus, the engaged and inquisitive questions at home, involvement in the Family Maths Week, and comments from the kids such as ‘are you being a bucket filler?’ we hope you have seen and heard some tangible evidence at home of our priorities for 2020.


Congratulations to Esther Coghlan on her appointment as Acting Coordinator for the 2021 school year. Esther has been focused this year on developing numeracy across the school and will be a great addition to the Leadership Team. Congratulations also to Tiffany Fletcher on her appointment as the Music teacher for 2021. I hope that already you have heard the kids singing and humming along following their music lessons. In 2021, we will also welcome Mrs Georgina Jaram and Mrs Shakira Beal to St Joseph’s, both working part-time in different teaching roles across the school.

Canteen Manager 2021

We are still looking for our new Canteen Manager! Our canteen is up and running, thanks to the efforts of Sarah and the P&F Canteen Committee, but we are looking for someone to continue this great work in 2021. Please see below a link to the position of Canteen Manager at St Joseph's Primary School. 

2021 Classes


This week all students in Foundation – Year 5 will be given a Sociogram to take home which allows them the chance to consider 3 friends that they would like to be in a class with in 2021. The intention is to ensure that each student is paired with at least one of their friends they nominate. Sociograms are to be returned to classroom teachers by Friday 20 November.

A reminder that if there is specific information that parents would like to advise me of to assist the composition of classes for 2021, then this must be done so in writing to me either via email or letter by no later than Friday 20 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 2021.

Family Photos

Do you want to get a start on your Christmas shopping? What better present to send to family and friends than a family photo of your children! Family photos are available to purchase from the Front Office for a mere $15.

Yours in Christ,

Cameron Tarrant


Religious Life of St Joseph's

Our St Joseph Charism

Our Week 5 focus is:


Social Justice Mission Market Day Update

On Friday 30 October, we held our Mission Market Day to raise money for our Global School Partner- Riamabana Orphanage Academy, Kenya. The Market Day was an outstanding success with the total amount raised $2814.95. This year has been particularly difficult for Riamabana Orphanage Academy with floods, locust plagues, drought, COVID-19 and a famine impacting people in Kenya. When schools reopen in January 2021 they must provide hand washing with soap, sanitiser, face masks and enough desks to enable physical distancing between students. Riamabana’s water tank also must be replaced to provide water access. The estimate is that Riamabana Orphanage Academy will need approximately $1,500 AUD worth of PPE just to be allowed to re-open. We know that our donation will have a significant impact on our partner school being able to reopen next year.


Advent Prayer Celebrations

We are so happy to be able to hold our Advent prayer celebrations with students together in the hall. These prayer celebrations are a vital part of our St Joseph’s tradition and would not have been the same if held via Zoom in classrooms. Parents of classes leading the prayer celebration are warmly invited to attend these prayer celebrations. The dates and times are:

Friday 27th November 9.15am led by 5 Orange

Friday 4th December 9.15am led by 5 Blue

Friday 11th December 9.15am led by 4 Gold

Friday 18th December 9.15am led by 4 Green

Yours in Christ,
Melanie Stratford

Religious Education Coordinator

Sustainability in Action

Just how long is a blue whale? Ask a Year 2! After investigating endangered animals and why their populations are changing, we set out to see what 25 metres looks like on a basketball court. See picture below, from Aidan (by bins) to Amani (far left).

Year 2’s blue whale facts:

“Their babies are as big as a hippo,” said Dylan.

“Whale bones were used to make women’s dresses a long time ago,” said Amelia.

“They migrate in groups,” said Emanuel.

“Their hearts are the size of a whole cow,” said Lara.


Foundation’s exploration was no clean matter; after dumping and sorting the Staff Room bin, Foundation had some special instructions for teachers and staff misplacing their rubbish:


“We saw a reusable container with an avocado. It should be cleaned and reused. The avocado should go into compost,” said Addison.

“There was a bit of food in a takeaway box. It should go in the recycling” said Indie.

“I saw foil in there. You should put the foil in a ball and put it in the recycle bin,” said Claire.


“The earth is a fine place, and worth fighting for.” -Ernest Hemingway

Ryan McGee

Sustainability Coordinator 

Defence School Mentor News

Our Defence students spoke from the heart during our Remembrance Day service. I was so proud of all the students who spoke, the Catafalque party, those who held the wreath and to all the children who brought in their special item for the prayer space. Thank you to all the families who talked to their kids about the significance of this day and it was so wonderful to have so many Defence families in the audience.


Sally Adams

Defence School Mentor 

Happy birthday to these students celebrating their birthdays this week:


Lachlan S
Adam S
Ashley F
Connor J
Anna J
Aidan M
Josephine S

The Uniform Shop Is Looking For New Members!

The Uniform Shop needs new members! The Uniform Shop provides a uniform delivery service of both new and second-hand uniforms to St Joseph’s school families. Members of the Uniform Shop volunteer some of their time to help organise children’s uniform orders. New team members will get training about how the ordering system on Qkr works, as well as how to organise and deliver uniforms. The uniform shop is open once a week on Thursday, 8:30-9:00 am and supports members to take flexible shifts. Additional help is needed urgently because right now there are only three uniform team members.

Uniform member Kate says, “It is like being in a community.”  Monique says she loves volunteering in the Uniform Shop because, “You get to know the teachers, parents and the kids.”

All profits from the uniform shop go to the P&F and are used to buy school resources, equipment and support the running of the canteen. If you think that joining our team of fun and committed volunteers is something you can do, please contact

Kate Osborn at or on 0423 103 015

Written by Isabelle T and Rea N

Uniform Shop Prices

This year has been challenging, from home-schooling to playing soccer while (attempting) self-distancing! Our wonderful school and our P&F have not been immune to the effects of 2020: we had to cancel the fete, and numerous other fun events. But rest assured we have some great things on the horizon.

However, we want to ensure that we continue to provide for the kids as best we can. So, for the first time in years, our uniform shop will be altering our prices. We know that this might come as a shock to you, but please know that every cent of profit goes back into our school.

Over the years we have provided play equipment, barbecues, helped fund farewells and even shifted a couple of tonne of mulch! We want to continue to do these things even if we can’t fundraise in the usual way!

Our prices will change on 24 September 2020. The new prices will be available in Qkr! that same day.

Thank you to everyone for your donations of second-hand summer uniform! Prices for these items will remain at $5.


Congratulations to this week's award recipients. 

Students are now receiving their Awards at Morning Gathering on Friday, but we are still unable to welcome parents to join us. 

Foundation Red

Indie M

Enoch A

Foundation White

Dakota W

Eloise McD

1 Purple

Aria K

Chloe R

1 Teal

Jack D

Vairaj B

2 Magenta

Henry A

Ishana M

Alice P

2 Yellow

Sophia A

Emily G

3 Black

Lawrence C

Asher K

3 Navy

Esmee V F

Faith Y

4 Gold

Alyssa S

Adam S

Zoe G

4 Green

Daniel G

Maria P

5 Blue Year 5 camp 5 Orange Year 5 camp
6 Lime

Areesha G

Ava J

6 Silver

Angelo P

Rose W