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 2 Term 1 2021 Newsletter

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Week 2 Term 1 2021 Newsletter

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

Joseph, just man of God,

Clear mirror of the beatitudes –

Poor in spirit, meek, gentle and merciful,

Man of peace, no stranger to sorrow,

Pure of heart and seeing God daily at your side,

Persecuted for Jesus’ name –

Aid me by your example and your prayers

To shape my life after so perfect a pattern.


Opening School Liturgy

Whilst we were unable to hold our Opening School Mass, today we gathered as a school community to celebrate the beginning of our school year and to formally recognise our 2021 Year 6 Leaders in a beautiful liturgy held in our school hall.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the declaration of St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. To celebrate the anniversary, Pope Francis has proclaimed a special “Year of St Joseph” and we, in turn, are focusing on our patron saint with the theme of “With a Father’s Heart”. During the liturgy, Father Paul explained to us that by coming to know the heart of Jesus means that we come to know the heart of Joseph. As Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph showed Jesus how to live, how to trust in God and how to give our lives to God

Our school hymn for the year, Song to St Joseph by Michael Mangan encapsulates what is meant by “With a Father’s Heart” describing the call of Joseph and his acceptance of what was asked of him. You can listen to the students singing the hymn here.

Swimming Carnival

Thank you to Mrs Allan for her phenomenal organisation in getting our Swimming Carnival up and running on only the sixth day of the new school year! It was a wonderful day and we were fortunate with some very kind Canberra weather (for early February), but more importantly, we were blessed to be able to share the day with so many parents who came to help out on the day.

Congratulations to Madonna who were the winning House and thank you to all the students for the spirit and enthusiasm in which they participated.

Parent Information Night - TONIGHT

This afternoon at 5:30 we will be holding our Parent Information Session via Zoom. To join the session, follow the Zoom link If you are unable to ‘join’ us, we will be recording the session and will send out information on how to access the recording in the coming days.

Meet the Teacher

Next Monday, we will hold open classrooms for you to meet your child’s classroom teacher from 5pm to 6pm. This will be an opportunity for you to drop into the school to have a chat with classroom teachers and collect information about your child’s learning. It is also a great excuse to have a look at the amazing building works that have been completed!  

There will be no formal presentations from teachers so please feel free to pop in at any time between 5pm and 6pm that suits you. To assist with Covid restrictions, we ask, where possible that children do not attend.   

P&F Meeting – TONIGHT

The first P&F Meeting for 2021 is being held tonight from 7.00pm. The meeting is being held here at the school, allowing any parents who would like to attend to see the new classrooms and building works. Any parents unable to attend in person are welcome to join the meeting virtually using the Zoom link; 

School Counselling

As part of the pastoral care program for students, St Joseph's Primary has access to a Student and Family Counselling service provided by CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn. There is no fee to access this service.

The role of the counsellor is to focus on the emotional, social and educational well-being of students. Counsellors welcome contact with students having difficulty with some part of their life, whether or not it affects their school work. Some typical concerns that Student and Family Counsellors work with include: anger, anxiety, behavioural problems, depression, eating problems, family breakdown and family conflict, grief and loss, learning and educational challenges, parenting challenges, peer and other social relationships, school avoidance, stress and study skills. As well as individual sessions with students, counsellors can run groups, do family work, consult with parents and teachers and make referrals to other services and supports.

Our Student and Family Counsellor is Kerry Marshall. Kerry is onsite at St Joseph’s on a Thursday and Friday from 9am to 5pm. Kerry can be contacted via email at or please speak to your child’s teacher if you think this service may be something your child could benefit from.

School Photos

A reminder that school photos are taking place next Monday, 15 February. All students are asked to wear their full summer uniform.  Photo envelopes were sent home earlier this week and are due back to school by Monday.

A Place for Everyone - by Miss Bonner

Xīnnián kuàilè! Happy Chinese New Year! Did you know the date of the Chinese New Year depends on the cycle of the moon? This year it falls on Friday 12th February. There are many families in our school community who will be celebrating the Chinese New Year this Friday. Luerice G in 3 Black says that her family will be celebrating by going to her grandparents' house and eating dumplings and moon cake. Her lǎo lao (grandma) and lǎo yé (grandfather) will give her a red envelope with money inside to symbolise good wishes and luck for the new year. 

St Joseph’s is a place for everyone. Does your family participate in a cultural celebration? If so, please let Miss Bonner know via email at We would love to acknowledge it within our school community.

I hope you have an enjoyable end to the week.

Yours in Christ,

Amy Doszpot

Assistant Principal 

Opening Schools Liturgy - ‘Guide us in the path of life’

Today we came together as a community to celebrate our Opening Schools Liturgy and induct our Year 6 students into their leadership role within the school. Father Paul led our prayer celebration as the students embraced our theme this year: With a Father’s Heart. The students sang beautifully and the hymns were lead by Mrs Fletcher, with Mr Kucher playing the guitar.

‘Remember That You Are Dust And To Dust You Shall Return’

Lent is fast approaching. This is an extremely important time in our lives where we are able to take the opportunity to reflect and prepare before the Season of Easter commences. The preparations begin on Shrove Tuesday (Tuesday 16 February). Shrove Tuesday is celebrated traditionally by using flour, sugar and other items from the pantry to make pancakes or sweet treats. It is a symbol that Lent is about to commence as we prepare ourselves to fast by sacrificing things that we love. Lent commences following Shrove Tuesday on Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent are marked with the symbol of the cross placed on our foreheads. This symbol is a reminder of the biggest sacrifice God has made for us all, by allowing his only son to die for us on the cross. During lent, we take part in three key focuses; prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

Prayer - Is love for God

Praying every day is a way you can talk to God. You can pray at school, with your family or on your own. There are many different ways you can pray;

  • Sing a hymn
  • Say the Rosary
  • Attend Mass
  • Take part in Christian Meditation

Fasting - Is love for yourself

Fasting is important as it teaches us willpower to sacrifice something we wouldn’t normally go without. Including food, there are other ways you can fast;

  • Give up technology (or reduce you time to just weekends)
  • No meat on Fridays
  • Fast from sweet treats
  • Give up your favourite drink

Almsgiving - Is love for others

Almsgiving is traditionally the practice of giving money or food to those who are less fortunate than us. But, there are other ways we give alms;

  • What can you do to support or help someone else without them knowing? 
  • How can you go out of your way for someone?
  • What will you sacrifice so you can donate to Caritas?
  • Could you do some extra jobs around the house without being asked?
  • Do something without expecting anything in return

Sacrament of Reconciliation

The Year 3 students will soon be preparing for the Sacrament of Reconciliation during their Religion lessons at school. If you would like your child to make this Sacrament, please visit the Parish website to complete an online registration form and make a donation to the church.

Workbooks will be sent home in the coming weeks for you to prepare your child to receive the sacrament. The mass for the Sacrament of Reconciliation will take place on Wednesday 10 March at 6pm.

Important Term 1 Dates:

  • Shrove Tuesday Liturgy (9:15am, Tuesday 16 February)
  • Ash Wednesday Service (10:00am, Wednesday 17 February)
  • Reconciliation Retreat Day (Wednesday 10 March)
  • Sacrament of Reconciliation (6pm, Wednesday 10 March)
  • Feast of St Joseph (Friday 19 March)

Unfortunately due to COVID restrictions and limited numbers we are unable to invite parents to whole school liturgies.

For further information or any questions, please feel free to contact me on via email:

Michelle Vuli

Religious Education Coordinator

Dear Parents/Carers,

Welcome to a brand new year that has seen our Library return to its home in the Hub located off our playground equipment. We have been busy organising and returning all books back to their places and starting to conduct home borrowing again. If you happen to find any books that have a St Joseph’s Primary school barcode on it please return it to the library or front office.

Library lessons

Each student has an allocated day to have a library lesson. I would like to encourage each student to remember to bring a library bag in, so they can borrow books and transport the books home safely to read and enjoy together. Please clearly label your bag. Loans are for two weeks.

Wednesday and Thursday

ELC through to Year 2 will be taught by Mrs Jaram

Thursday and Friday

Year 3-6 will be taught by Mrs Parmenter

Opening Hours

Students are able to use the library at lunch Monday - Friday for those wishing to borrow, draw or play quiet board games.

Overdue and Damaged/Lost Books

Each term overdue notices are printed and handed out in Week 8 of the school term. Please return books promptly. Any damaged books should be brought back in for repair and if you lose a book please send an email to let us know.

Scholastic Book Club

Once a term, families are given an opportunity to purchase quality books from Scholastic. 20% of the order spend is given back to the school to purchase valuable educational resources via its Rewards program. Our first Book Club brochures were handed out to students last week and last orders will be due by 19 February 2021.

There are no cash purchases any more at St Joseph’s, please do all ordering online. Details are on the brochure sent home with your children.


Georgina Jaram and Catherine Parmenter

I just love the start of the year. We welcome new families and reunite with old friends. Here are some pictures from our Defence Kids welcome party. Everyone loves pizza! We will be sure to include our Foundation students when they return from their Friday breaks.

Please email me throughout the year if you have any concerns or questions regarding your child.

Community news

DSM Coffee Catch ups – a new initiative for Defence families to meet new people and make connections.

Tuesday 23rd February from 9.30am to 11.30am at Soldier On (Bellenden Street, Crace).  Please RSVP to your Defence School Mentor if you would like to attend.  Young children are welcome as long as they are supervised.


Sally Adams

Hello everyone,

Welcome to 2021.  My name is Katie and I will be your new Canteen Manager.

The canteen will operate Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, starting in Week 2.

We are always happy to have help in the canteen!  If there are any parents/carers interested in helping out in the canteen this term, please do not hesitate to drop into the canteen and say hello or to email me at



Congratulations to this week's award recipients. 

Students receive their award at Friday morning assembly at 8.50am. Parents are again welcome to attend this assembly, but photos will continue to be taken each week and shared via SZapp. 

Foundation Red Rest Day Foundation White Rest Day
1 Purple

Audrey B

Indie M

1 Teal

Ivy S

Xander W

2 Magenta

Liam B

Emma P

2 Yellow

Phoebe G

Aria K

3 Black

Chloe A

Alex M

3 Navy

Mia B

Namgay T

4 Gold

Atem M

Lachlan S

4 Green

Vasili P

Lawrence C

5 Blue

Daniel A

Sienna S

5 Orange

Marnie C

Hamish E

6 Lime

Joshua G

Juliana L

6 Silver

Roshni N

Chelsea B

Sustainability Zoe B

Happy birthday to these students celebrating their birthdays this week:


Zoe B
Lucas B
Edmund G
Jack S
Aria K
Celeste P