- From our Principal, Cameron Tarrant
- Singing Together Builds Connection and Community
- Developing Life Skills Through Sports
- Building inquisitive minds!
- Science Week 2020: Ocean Life Education
- Protecting the environment and God’s gifts
- Learning to Live in Harmony with Nature
- At St Joseph’s, we have a club for everyone!
- A couple of final words from Cameron…
Welcome to the St Joseph’s Celebrations Newsletter. It’s important for our achievements to be celebrated and significantly recognised so we’ve put together another special edition. Thank you to all the wonderful staff who collected fantastic stories for us to share with our St Joseph’s family, friends and beyond. We believe these stories set St Joseph’s apart and highlight who we are as a school community.
Singing is one of the most powerful forms of connection, it brings us together and lifts our spirits. At St Joseph’s, we’ve started two new special singing initiatives and believe it’s bringing us closer as a school community.
Every Thursday, following morning assembly the school now gathers together to sing our unique school song. All students from Foundation to Year 6 join voices to sing our St Joseph’s School Song.
“Singing the school song gets everyone involved and teaches us about the history of the school. I like that everyone does the actions,” Year 5 Student, Hamish, said.
Whole school singing of our song provides our students with an opportunity to enjoy community singing, express school pride and revisit our St Joseph’s values which are reflected in the lyrics.
This year, St Joseph’s also started a Singing Club! Each week students from across the grades join together to share the joy of singing.
Singing Club provides students with opportunities to develop their aural skills, explore songs from across music genres, enjoy group singing and share their love of music with the community. Students have learnt a range of songs including folk songs, camp songs, rounds and modern pop songs.
In Week Seven, our talented students will be walking to Lyneham Shops where they will share their repertoire with the wider community.
“I am excited to go to Lyneham Shops and sing in front of other people because singing is one of my favourite things to do. The best part about Singing Club is learning new songs that I have never heard before,” Year 1 Student, Annabelle, said.
Neighbours, families and friends will enjoy a lunchtime performance filled with joyous singing and fabulous movement.
The school’s under 10s tee-ball team is made-up of boys and girls from Years 1 to 4.
The team plays every Saturday as part of the ACT Softball League and is a friendly environment for students to enjoy the collegiality of a team sport and develop a variety of skills for life.
We asked our Year 2 student, James, about his tee-ball experiences and how being on the team has helped him with team building skills.
“Playing tee-ball is exciting as you don’t know when the other team is going to hit the ball or if it is going to be a strike or a foul. Tee-ball helps my team building skills as we need to take turns to bat and pitch and know where everyone is going on the bases,” James said.
Over the last couple of years, Joey Phantoms have enjoyed significant success and two teams have taken out the premiership in their age division.
Much of this success can be attributed to the fabulous community which supports the team. Parents help out each week with the training and older siblings have taken on leadership roles and run drills and support the coach at games.
In Term Two, 2 Magenta explored the history and design of Canberra and the parish through the concepts of space, design, change and connection.
The students collaborated on designing their own landmarks and cities and brought their plans to life via architect blueprints, Lego and Minecraft EDU.
We asked three Year 2 students about how they designed their landmark and city.
“I got the shaping from my mind because it is my imaginary territory. I thought there should be a place to honour the military and so I designed Henry's Warfare Museum (HWM),” Henry said.
“I designed Luerice's Weird Zoo because I like animals, they are cute. The zoo is a place for anyone to go and they can pat any of the animals, except the dangerous ones because then you will get hurt,” Luerice said.
“I designed the Law Courts because a city needs a court so that if someone does something wrong against the law they can go to jail. I loved writing about the Law Courts. When I grow up, I want to be a policeman,” Yaanih said.
Having the new school buildings being constructed right next to our learning space was a great provocation for these inquiring minds.
In Term 3, Year 5 explored unsustainable fishing practices and the effects on oceans and land. For Science Week, they were asked to design an innovative machine that combated any environmental challenges for the ocean.
Several of their inventions were designed with sustainable materials (i.e. solar panels, reusable materials) and tackled a major problem (fishing bycatch, excessive waste, etc).
We asked two of our Year 5 students, Ashley and Olivia about their Science Week learnings and innovative machine.
“For Science Week, we had to create a model that would help clean and protect the ocean. We learnt about how nurdles (micro plastics) can affect a turtle’s digestive system. We also learnt how we could use solar power in a machine and make it waterproof to adapt to being used in a water environment,” Ashley said.
“My group made the ‘Marina Cleana 3000’ Our prototype used aluminium foil, bottle lids, paper, sticky tape and a toilet roll. If we were able to make the real thing we would need a steel cylinder, time sensors, solar panels, two large mesh bags and filters,” Olivia said.
Ashley and Olivia learnt quite a lot during Science Week!
After studying stories of Creation from the bible and other cultures, Year 1 students applied their appreciation for God's gifts to carrying out a Sustainability Action Plan.
Year 1 students established rubbish collection groups, planted gardens in their yards, encouraged parents to bring reusable bags to the shops, and came up with other ideas to demonstrate their understanding that the earth needs our constant care.
“I started a clean-up crew. We picked up rubbish around the school during our break times. We even found a whole bag full of rubbish that had been left by the plants. It is important to pick up rubbish so the earth does not get polluted,” Ajmer said.
“I planted flowers and vegetables in pots at home. They are growing so big that there are spiky roots sticking out. I created a garden to help the world look better. Rubbish makes the world look bad,” Chloe said.
Teachers at St Joseph’s are passionate educators who program contemporary Religious Education and provide meaningful learning experiences for our students.
In Year 3, we have been learning about the concept of harmony. After our ‘Lion King’ provocation, the students selected an animal from the movie to further research. We discovered that for many of our researched animals the biggest predator wasn’t in fact the lion, as we first assumed, but humans.
We then investigated what steps we can take to positively impact the harmony in our world. At the top of our list was to ‘adopt’ an animal. While having a life size snow leopard wandering around our classroom would be pretty cool, this isn’t quite what we meant by ‘adopting an animal’.
We opened up our virtual art gallery, called ‘Blavy and Nack’ and sold our Pete Cromer inspired animal artworks to raise money to help the WWF care for a snow leopard out in the wild. We raised $180 and helped educate others about the things that they can do to help restore harmony to the world in the process.
We asked a group of students about their understanding of the concept of harmony and what they learnt from this activity.
What did you learn about the concept of Harmony?
“That we’re actually a bigger threat to animals than they are to us,” Georgina said.
“Our actions can have a huge impact on harmony, whether positively or negatively,” Chris said.
“We can restore the harmony by doing things like planting trees, picking up rubbish, eating less meat and adopting an animal,” Scarlett said.
How did it feel helping the WWF and a Snow Leopard?
“It felt really good because we know that we’re doing something right to undo all the devastation we have made,” Jimmy said.
“It feels amazing that we’ve raised money by selling our wonderful artworks to adopt a snow leopard,” Sophie said.
“It feels really good that we were able to use some of our resources to give back and reverse the negative impact we have had,” Louis said.
Year 3 teacher, Courtney Bonner, planned this activity for the class and the students were enthusiastic about researching an animal and the fact that they were truly making a difference to a real snow leopard’s life.
“The students really enjoyed taking ownership of an animal and they liked that their actions had a direct impact,” Courtney said.
At St Joseph’s, our teachers go above and beyond for children and look for creative ways to engage with students on a deeper level both inside and outside of the classroom.
Our Lego Club provides students with time to get creative. Emmanuel in Year 2 enjoys building and playing games with his creations and having battles with his friends.
For those who like to take a slower pace, we offer a Walking Club around our neighbouring streets. Madeline in Foundation is a regular at Walking Club as she enjoys seeing the sites and finds it an opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of playground life.
A new initiative on offer are our Netball and Touch Football competitions for students in Years 3 to 6. Run as a Round Robin, the students participate with friendly rivalry throughout the term. Amy, Addison and Julianna in Year 5 enjoy the fun and friendly competition that the Netball Club offers and Jack in Year 1 likes to watch the games and cheer on his Godsister. Mr Kucher who runs the Touch Football Club enjoys that students of different ability levels are eager to participate.
For those who like to “Shake it Off” we also run a Dance Club. Chloe and Alice in Year 2 think it is great exercise and lots of fun learning new dance moves. They also think it’s a great place to go if you forget your hat!
Sam, Harry and Max in Year 6 recently started a Cricket Club for students in Years 4 to 6 as they were feeling bored at Lunchtime. The two teams train on altering Wednesdays and play a game on the third Wednesday. Way to go boys!
Thank you to all of our amazing teachers who help make lunchtimes at St Joseph so exciting. Many of these Clubs are an additional duty that are undertaken on a voluntary basis. We’re committed to building a strong, supportive school community and believe inclusivity is at the heart of our school.
I am extremely proud to be leading our school community and working together to overcome the challenges that come our way. We have had a tough year due to COVID-19, but we will be entering the festive season soon. I hope we can all find some joy leading up to a very special time of the year... Christmas!