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 4 Term 1 2021 Newsletter

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Week 4 Term 1 2021 Newsletter

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

A Parent’s Prayer to St Joseph

O glorious St Joseph, to you God committed the care of His only begotten Son amid the many dangers of this world. We come to you and ask you to take under your special protection the children God has given us. Through holy baptism, they became children of God and members of His holy Church. We consecrate them to you today, that through this consecration they may become your foster children. Guard them, guide their steps in life, form their hearts after the hearts of Jesus and Mary.

St Joseph, who felt the tribulation and worry of a parent when the child Jesus was lost, protect our dear children for time and eternity. May you be their father and counsellor. Let them, like Jesus, grow in age as well as in wisdom and grace before God and all.


As primary-school educators, one of our most important tasks is helping our students master the skill of reading. There is no greater gift you can give to a child than the ability to read. At St Joseph’s, we are committed to achieving our systems’ bold gold of every student being a competent reader. As a school, we are committed to providing teachers with the opportunities to ensure that your child is being taught with the best approach and methods available to teach reading in an evidence-based way

Late last year our Foundation, Year 1 and Year 2 teachers completed professional learning in InitiaLit, an evidence-based, whole-class literacy instruction program for teaching reading and writing. The InitiaLit Program is now up and running in our infants classrooms.

Yesterday we held an InitiaLit Parent Information Session which highlighted how the program is run and the process of a synthetic phonics approach to teaching reading. If you were unable to attend the information session and would like to learn more about the program please email me at and I will forward you a recording of the session.  

Parent / Teacher Interviews

A reminder that next week, 1 – 5 March, we are holding Parent / Teacher interviews to allow a formal opportunity to meet with your child’s teacher and to discuss the year ahead. All parents are asked to use the link below to register a time to come into school and meet the teacher. Registrations will close this Friday 26 February at 1 pm.


2021 School Board Members

Last Wednesday, the School Board met for the first time this year. We officially welcomed three new members and elected positions for the coming year:

Pip McRae - President

Si Kayser - Treasurer 

Bec Jackon - Secretary

Rachel Whiteley-Black - P&F and ELC Representative

Kieran Fordham - Parent Represenative

Kimberly McDonald - Parent Representative

Tome Tokic - Parent Representative 

Zoe Cawdron - Staff Representative 

School Uniforms

A current focus for us as a school body is the correct manner in which school uniforms are worn. Wearing the correct school uniform promotes a sense of belonging for students and creates a positive identity for the school community. Follow this LINK for a comprehensive guide to the St Joseph’s School uniform requirements.

Social and Emotional Learning

Due to my role in the implementation of the InitiaLit Program, my time teaching Social and Emotional Learning in classrooms will unfortunately not begin until Term 2. However, all is not lost as this week I would like to share an activity you can use to instil mindfulness at home. Mindfulness can be defined as paying attention to the present moment with intent and purpose. This activity could be of benefit for your child if they are feeling anxious about an upcoming situation or focusing on a situation from the past. I even challenge you to give it a try. Too often we get caught up in the business of life and loose sight of what is happening in the present.

  • On a piece of paper, from left to right, write the words PAST, NOW, FUTURE.
  • Focus on the word PAST. With each out-breath, release any negative emotions associated with things that have already happened. Let go of any frustration, guilt, regrets or anger. With each breath out, cross out a letter of the word PAST.
  • Focus on the word FUTURE. With each breath out, release any negative emotions about things that have not even occurred but are troubling you. Let go of any anxiety, worry, concern or fear. With each breath out, cross out a letter of the word FUTURE.
  • Focus on the word NOW. What is it that you want to achieve now? With each breath out think about what it is you want to achieve now and how you can achieve it.

A Place for Everyone – by Miss Bonner

Last Sunday, many of our Bhutanese families celebrated the King’s Birthday. Dechen P in 4 Gold and Ugyean P in 6 Lime celebrated by dancing the Boedra Rigsar, a traditional Bhutanese dance, with members of their family and wider community. 

Namgay T in 3 Navy celebrated with his family by setting up an altar in his home. Here’s a photo of the beautiful altar Namgay’s family decorated over the weekend using candles, seasonal fruits and flowers.


I hope you have an enjoyable end to the week.

Amy Doszpot

Assistant Principal 

Project Compassion Appeal - ‘Be More’

Last Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent. At the conclusion of our Ash Wednesday Liturgy, our Wellbeing Team launched the 2021 Project Compassion Appeal. The focus for this year is ‘Be More’. Every year, countless people turn Lent into a demonstration of faith, love and generosity. At St Joseph’s, we are also focusing our almsgiving by donating to this important appeal.

You can be a part of this incredible community, who believe that there are simple actions we can all take to “be more” for our world. We are asking students to sacrifice and show service in a variety of ways to earn money that can be donated to the Project Compassion Appeal. Some of these ideas may include:

  • Donating your ice block/canteen money
  • Doing extra jobs around the house to earn pocket money
  • Setting goals at home to earn donation money
  • Sacrificing digital device time for a gold coin

At school, our Year 6 Wellbeing Team will be counting the money collected every Friday and adding this to our whole school tally (located in the main corridor of the school). Our goal is to raise $1200.

What your money can do?

$5 buys a chicken that provides eggs for a school

$10 supplies a family with a COVID19 prevention kit in a refugee camp

$20 provides a school with COVID19 prevention training

$40 provides a community with warm blankets

$70 can provide fabric to make 1000 face masks to prevent community transmission

We are all in this together. Like Saint Joseph, how can we ‘be more’ to people in need and support the mission of Jesus?

200 Years of Catholic Education in Australia

Today Mr Tarrant, Milli and Ebenezer (Year 6 Representatives) and myself attended the Diocesan Mass at St Christopher’s Cathedral to celebrate the 200 Year Anniversary of Catholic Education in Australia. Archbishop Prowse spoke in his homily about the importance of schools that have been founded by various religious orders around the Diocese, and how we will continue to focus on the Catholic Identity of each school, paying respect to the significant role our predecessors had in founding Catholic schools in the Diocese.

The theme for this 200-year celebration is, ‘Faith in the Future’. Archbishop Prowse asks us all to think about what Catholic Education will look like in another 200 years, and what actions we can do now, that will still be embedded 200 years later.

Sacrament of Reconciliation

The Year 3 students have begun 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. Due to COVID restrictions, preparations for this sacrament will be completed at home using a workbook that will be provided next week. Practicalities will be explained on the student retreat day, which is scheduled for Wednesday 10 March.

Registrations close on 22 February 2021.

Important Term 1 Dates:

  • 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


Congratulations to Madonna who was the winning House at our Swimming Carnival. Students in Madonna demonstrated exceptional swimming skills and entered many races to earn points for their team. Congratulations to our House Spirit Award winners Fatima who demonstrated the best spirit on the day with great cheering and support for their teammates. 

Thank you to all our parent helpers who made the day possible.

Age Champions

12 Years Boy - Jordan C

12 Years Girl - Amy D/Frieda C

11 Years Boy - Benjamin C

11 Years Girl - Addison F

10 Years Boy - Lucas B

10 Years Girl - Lottie W-B

8/9 Years Boy - Luke D

8/9 Years Girl - Chloe A

Regional Swimming Carnival 

Congratulations to the following students who qualified for the North Gungahlin Regional Swimming championships on Monday 29 March at Stromlo Leisure Centre. Permission notes and more information will follow soon. It is likely that no parent spectators will be permitted at the regional carnival due to venue restrictions on numbers. School Sport ACT has advised that for 2021 Primary Regional Carnivals that 8 and 9-year-old events have been removed from the program. The 8 and 9-year-olds are not eligible for State Team selection and this is the fairest entry restriction mechanism across all schools to limit numbers in the venue. 

Girls Boys
Amy D Jordan C
Frieda C Joshua O
Addison F Travis M
Maggie M Samuel S
Lottie W-B Ben C
Zoe B Ben L
Lucas B
Dominic S
Daniel G
Lawrence C

Koby Allan

Sport Coordinator

Defence Kids Club is held in the library every Thursday at first break. This is for Defence children and invited students to attend and connect with other children. This week we played charades. It was super fun. I have been visiting each of the new children in classrooms as well as supporting students who have deployed parents. Please email me if you are away for a significant period of time so we can be extra vigilant with your child’s wellbeing



Community news from DCO – If you’re a veteran or an ADF partner exploring a new career or looking for support to grow a business please consider joining a Prince’s Trust Australia Enterprise program.


Sally Adams

Defence School Mentor


Hello everyone,

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  email me at



Canteen Manager

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

Rishaan M

Ayla A

1 Teal

Dakota W

Eloise M

2 Magenta

Chase S

Anna J

2 Yellow

Owen H

Leo W

3 Black

Henry A

Lara S

3 Navy

Sophia R

Ted V-F

4 Gold

Asher K

Dechen P

4 Green

Olivia O

Santiago K

5 Blue

Erika A

Nathan N

5 Orange

Lottie W-B

Max M

6 Lime

Ugyean P

Georgina R

6 Silver

Ashera D

Rachel N


Ashley F

Lily P

Emilia R

Georgina G

Happy birthday to these students celebrating their birthdays this week:


Ryder W
Eden N
Alli P
Ryan McD
Austin J