Dear Parents, Carers and the St Joseph’s Community,
During the second week of Advent, we focus on John the Baptist’s challenge: Prepare the way of the Lord!
Last Sunday was the second week of Advent, where we pray for the peace that the coming of Christ brings to our lives. Our Year 5 students led our Prayer Celebration, speaking of the peace that we all so desire in our lives and our world. I also spoke to the students about seeking peace within themselves, so that they can bring peace to others. At this time of the year, when there are many in our community who feel removed from others and alone, I pray that we can be people of peace, as we prepare for the birth of Christ.
We are again at the end of the school year. It is always a time of mixed emotions and excitement as everyone looks forward to the break and to celebrate the special time that is the Christmas season, this year perhaps more so than ever before! It also brings to an end a year of learning, of new experiences and at times, challenges. It can be an anxious time as students think about, and then discover, their new teacher and even who will be in their class the following year. All of these emotions and uncertainties are important for the students to experience, and for us as teachers and carers to support.
With the end of the school year, comes a whole new one to experience. The new year will bring excitement and joy, as well as challenge and change, but we can support our children in this by focusing on the positives of new friendships, a deepening of their learning and an opportunity for continued growth. The only sure thing in life, is change!
Next week, the students will learn who their teachers are and also have an opportunity to know their new class groupings. There will be opportunities to find out what classroom they will be in and to consider what 2021 might be like. This will be a very exciting time and I know that the students will return in 2021 ready for a wonderful year.
Attached is the 2021 staffing that was shared earlier in the week. It is wonderful to have such continuity of staff into 2021, allowing us to build on the successes of 2020 and to set new goals for the years ahead. It is also great to welcome new staff to St Joseph’s; welcome to Shakira Beale who is joining us from the Northern Territory as our new Italian teacher, and Geanean Gillett and Alex Martens who are both continuing in their roles working in the Classroom Support Team. We have an incredible staff here at St Joseph’s!
Next week we will farewell Annette Carroll and Rosie Taliano from the primary school. Annette is taking 2021 to spend time with her young family, and will be missed by all here at St Joseph’s. She is an incredibly dedicated teacher and we hope to welcome her back in the future. Likewise, Rosie has been a great addition to our school, teaching 5 Blue for the second half of the year. Rosie is returning to Sydney where her family is, but we too hope to see her again in the future. In the ELC, Sally Gibson finishes at the end of the year. Sally has been a wonderful practitioner in the Early Years and will be missed by all in the ELC. We wish Annette, Rosie and Sally all the best for the future.
Even after the different year that we have had, it is wonderful to be able to come together in a number of ways in the coming week, to celebrate and recognise all that has been achieved and to farewell the community.
- Friday 11 December – 9.15am School Hall. Third week of Advent Prayer Celebration, led by 4 Gold (Parents / friends invited to attend)
- Friday 11 December – 12 noon St Joseph’s Church. Year 6 Graduation Mass. An important occasion for our graduating students and their families (Year 6 parents and St Joseph’s siblings invited to attend)
- Monday 14 December – 9.15am under the trees. Foundation to Year 2 End of Year Carols and Thank You (Parents / friends invited to attend)
- Monday 14 December – 10.15am under the trees. Year 3 to Year 6 End of Year Carols and Thank You (Parents / friends invited to attend)
- Wednesday 16 December – all day. Year 6 Fun Day at Big Splash Water Park
- Thursday 17 December – 9.15am School Hall. Leadership Handover Ceremony (Year 5 parents / guests invited to attend)
- Friday 18 December – 9.15am School Hall. Fourth week of Advent Prayer Celebration, led by 4 Green (Parents / friends invited to attend)
- Friday 18 December – 2.45pm under the trees. Year 6 and leaving staff Farewell Tunnel
Over recent weeks the teachers have worked to prepare the Semester 2 reports. They are currently being finalised and will be sent home with the students on Friday 11 December. As part of the on-going reporting and communication cycle, parents are welcome to contact their child’s teacher to arrange a meeting should the need arise to discuss the report.
Last week the School Board held its AGM, at which time out-going members were thanked and recognised for their contributions to the effective management of the school. The School Board for 2021 is:
Fr Paul Nulley
Positions and roles on the Board will be elected at the first meeting in 2021.
Vote 4 Me
Today, Krys Saclier, parent of Nova (Yr 3) and Alexandria (Yr 6) shared with our Year 6 students her latest book, Vote 4 Me. Thank you to Krys for coming and spekaing with the students about our electoral and voting systems here in Australia. Please see the flyer in the Community News section of this week's newsletter.
Thank you to all of our parents who have been able to come into the school throughout this year - which has been limited unforatunately. We greatly value the expertise and experience that you all are able to share with us and hope that 2021 presents many more opportunities to engage with this important resource within our school.
Have a great end to the week.
Yours in Christ,
Religious Life of St Joseph's
Our St Joseph Charism
Our Week 9 focus is:
Advent Prayer Celebrations
Our second Advent prayer celebration last Friday was a beautiful celebration of peace led by 5 Blue. Our Advent prayer celebrations are a vital part of our St Joseph’s tradition and parents of classes leading the prayer celebration are warmly invited to attend these prayer celebrations. The dates and times for the remaining prayer celebrations are:
Friday 11th December 9.15am led by 4 Gold
Friday 18th December 9.15am led by 4 Green
St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal
This coming Friday is the last day to donate a Woolworths or Coles grocery card for families in need to purchase Christmas food.
Woolworths Grocery Cards
Coles Grocery Cards
These grocery cards can be sent in with students to be given to class teachers and will be sent up to the office each morning in the notebags.
Giving Trees for families wishing to provide a gift for specific families are in the front office at both the ELC and school. These giving trees have gift tags with the age and gender of people in the O’Connor and Lyneham area that are in need this Christmas. If you would like to donate a gift, adults are invited to take a tag, and tape it to the wrapped gift before placing it under the giving tree. Suggested gifts are included with the gift tags.
We thank you in advance for your generosity and enthusiasm for sharing love and the Christmas spirit with those in need.
Religious Education Coordinator
Defence School Mentor News
This week, Year 6 Lime worked together on creating a care package for a parent deployed overseas. All Australian made products were collected along with personal origami messages of support and thanks were placed in the box. I can’t wait for it to arrive.
Looking for a new podcast series – this 6 part podcast series, My Life at War could be of interest to you. This podcast series features previously untold stories, insights, and reflections of everyday Australians who served in the Second World War. Listen to firsthand experiences from some of the last surviving WWII veterans. https://www.uniting.org/blog-newsroom/uniting-life/podcast/my-life-at-war
Defence School Mentor
Sustainability in Action
End of Year Collection
Time is up on Monday for the last of your specialised recycling collections. Please ensure caps are cleaned and inserts are removed. As for our other 5 buckets- a Christmas present will be bestowed to the first family to email me with what is collected in each bucket. May the best Eco-Warriors win!
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.